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Holiday free-for-all is underway

It promises to be a mad dash to the finish for the nation’s retailers this week with half of holiday shoppers planning to wrap up their holiday shopping online and nearly one third of shoppers yet to begin spending, according to the latest survey results from the National Retail Federation.

The trade group said findings from its most recent survey of more than 6,000 consumers conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics showed online spending intentions at their highest in the 11 years the survey has been conducted. However, with delivery options shrinking by the day, it is clear there also will be a surge of traffic to physical stores as well since 32 million holiday shoppers had yet to buy anything when survey was conducted between December 2 and December 9.

“It comes as no surprise that Americans are eager to shop online in the coming weeks as busy schedules and a shift in the calendar have made the convenience offered by retailers’ mobile apps and websites even more attractive this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Recognizing the importance of providing stellar customer experiences for their shoppers, retailers will use every opportunity to promote their products through all their channels at very competitive prices, including exclusive shipping offers and in-store events.”

Driven by low prices and value, 45.4% will wrap up their shopping at their favorite department store and 37.4% will head to discount stores. Others will shop at electronics stores (24.1%), clothing and accessory stores (23.6%), grocery stores (15%) and outlet stores (13.7%), according to the survey.

When it comes to what types of gifts people have already bought, apparel and toys rank high on the list. Half (49.6%) say they have already bought apparel this year, and nearly four in 10 (38.7%) have bought toys. Additionally, holiday shoppers have filled their baskets with electronics (26.6%), home décor or home-related items (18.4%), jewelry (17.5%) and personal care or beauty items (19.6%). Slightly more than one-third (34.4%) have bought gift cards, the most requested gift item of the season.

“Last-minute shoppers don’t have quite the breathing room they did last year when there were four full weekends, but we shouldn’t underestimate procrastinators,” Prosper’s consumers insights director Pam Goodfellow said. “Last-minute shoppers are savvy bargain hunters who know just how to get everything they need to finish their gift lists.”
 

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