Early promotions put shoppers ahead
Shopping started early this year for millions of Americans thanks to a slew of holiday promotions that drew consumers in before the seasonal rush to find the perfect gift, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
As of Dec. 10, the average holiday shopper had completed 52.9 percent of their shopping, up from 49.9 percent last year.
"This year we witnessed 'a tale of two holiday shoppers' with many jumping on retailers' early, hard-to-pass-up in-store and online promotions, and others waiting until the last minute to wrap up their lists," said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF, in a press release emailed on Dec. 17.
For those who had completed less than half of their shopping, the NRF asked them why they have waited until December to finish. The survey found that 46.8 percent said they waited because they were still trying to decide what to buy, nearly three in 10 said they were waiting for input from their family and friends and another 28.4 percent said they had other financial priorities. A smaller percentage, 21.7 percent, said they were procrastinators and 23.4 percent said they were waiting for the best deals.
When it comes to the rest of their shopping, 49.1 percent said they will shop online, two in five will shop at department stores, 30.1 percent will go to discount stores, 22 percent will hit clothing stores and 19.3 percent will shop at electronics stores.
There may still be more holiday shopping left to do, but 32.8 percent of those polled plan to buy their last holiday gift before Thursday, Dec. 18. Nearly 15 percent will head out on Dec. 20, also known as Super Saturday, to purchase their last gift and 9.1 percent will wait until the very last minute and go on Christmas Eve.
"Americans have been procrastinators for generations and this year is no different. Men and women alike will be out on Christmas Eve, looking for that perfect gift and there will be plenty of gifts and plenty of stores open for those who need to be out that day," said Kathy Grannis, a spokesperson for the NRF.
Among the items last-minute shoppers plan to buy are gift cards, clothing items, toys and other popular gifts from a variety of retailers.
Regardless as to when and where consumers plan to shop, discounts and promotions will be plentiful.
"In the final stretch, retailers will continue to look for creative ways to attract those with shopping left to do by offering exclusive Super Saturday promotions, extending their in-store holiday hours and promoting deals on expedited shipping. We are optimistic the holiday season will end on a high note for retailers," Shay said.