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Consumers still have a lot of holiday shopping to complete

Washington – The average consumer has completed only 46.7% of their Christmas shopping as of Dec. 9, the lowest percentage since 2004, the National Retail Federation reported today. At the same period last year, roughly 47.1% had wrapped up their holiday buying.

“Retailers know the final lap counts the most and are planning to emphasize promotions and discounts to bring in last-minute shoppers,” said Tracy Mullin, president and ceo, NRF. “As Christmas Day creeps closer, retailers will be ready for an influx of procrastinators, from those who are checking the final names off their list to millions who haven’t even started shopping.”

According to the survey conducted by BigResearch, nearly 42 million people (19.1%) had not even started their shopping as of late last week. Just 8.6% of shoppers have completely finished. Adults over 65 years old have completed the most shopping (50.0%) while adults 45-54 year olds have done the least (44.1%). 

The late shoppers plan to head to discount stores (42.0%) and department stores (42.0%) primarily, but will also shop online (38.0%), electronic stores (22.0%), clothing or accessories stores (20.6%), outlet stores (13.6%) and drug stores (7.8%).

Consumers are also paying as they go, with fewer using credit cards this year (30.9% vs. 33.8% in 2008) and nearly four out of ten (39.3%) paying by debit or check card, 26.0% using cash and 3.8% writing a check.

“As expected, shoppers have shown tremendous restraint in buying gifts with the money they already have, not the money they hope to have,” said Phil Rist, executive vp, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch.

The survey polled 9,929 consumers from December 1-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0%.

 

 

 

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