Now is the time of year when we deck the halls, but if you mention Christmas shopping, a lot of New Jerseyans might have to resist the urge to deck you instead.

Joshua Lott, Getty Images

A new Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released this morning reveals that glee quickly turns to misery for many when talk turns to holiday shopping.

"Forty-six percent said that they actually anticipate the need for shopping for the holidays with dread versus 41 percent who said they actually look forward to it," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Men are more likely to dread the holiday shopping. Forty-nine percent said that they dread it versus 37 percent who look forward to it. Women are split 44 percent to 44 percent."

The survey shows there are plenty of procrastinators out there and some Scrooges too.

"Thirty-nine percent said that they leave most of their holiday shopping until those last ten days before Christmas," explained Murray. "Eleven percent of New Jerseyans said that they are sitting out this holiday season. They have no shopping that they're doing or that they want to do."

Thanksgiving/Black Friday Shoppers

Almost 1-in-10 New Jerseyans took advantage of the Turkey Day openings. In total, about one-in-four Garden State residents went out on at least one of the two holiday shopping kick-off days. Specifically, 15 percent went shopping just on Black Friday, three percent went out just on Thanksgiving, and 6 percent shopped on both days.

It's a bit of a head scratcher that so many people shopped on these two days because a lot of them don't think they saved that much money. In fact, 35 percent say the prices are about average and 4 percent say the deals are actually worse than at other times during the holidays.

"Black Friday shoppers are the marathoners of holiday shopping," said Murray. "They may get an early start but many leave the bulk of their holiday shopping until the very end. It seems they don't want to miss any opportunity to shop."


It wasn't so long ago that holiday shopping on a computer seemed like an idea from a science fiction movie, but more and more Jersey residents are doing it. Overall, 16 percent say they will do all or most of their holiday shopping online this year. Another 22 percent will do about half of it online and 22 percent will do some shopping online. Another 38 percent will not shop online for any holiday gifts this year.

"For many younger consumers, the online world is nothing new to them, so they do not face the need to change many of their prior purchasing behaviors," explained Dr. Joseph Rocereto, Associate Professor of Marketing at Monmouth University's Leon Hess Business School. "Quite simply, to these consumers, online purchasing has been the norm forever."

Store managers should know they're dealing with a lot of savvy shoppers these days.

The poll also found that one-third of New Jerseyans use a smart phone or mobile device when they are shopping in a store to see if other stores or online merchants have better deals. This includes seven percent, who say they do this all the time, 8 percent who do this most of the time, and 21 percent who do this some of the time while shopping.

The survey was conducted by telephone with 802 New Jersey adults from Dec. 4 to 8, 2013 and has a margin of error of + 3.5 percent.