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Survey: Many holiday shoppers still active with lists not finished


Charleston, S.C. -- After a successful extended Black Friday and another week in the stores, a healthy proportion of holiday shoppers are well on their way to being finished with their gift buying, according to the America’s Research Group and Inmar Holiday Shopping Survey.

However, while 30% of shoppers are reporting that they are either finished or 90% through with their holiday shopping, the opportunity for retailers to make merry before the end of the season is still there as another 37% see themselves as having completed only half or less of their gift buying.

Shoppers are looking in lots of places for gifts and deals – including the grocery store. Better than 50% of shoppers are planning to give food as a gift this year with 49% having used a coupon in the grocery store in the last 30 days to help stretch holiday budgets. While 65% of shoppers are visiting four or more stores looking for saving opportunities, those with smartphones are leveraging them in the same effort – 38% of shoppers with smartphones having reported using them to look for or buy holiday gifts.

As for overall spending, 42% of shoppers say their 2013 holiday gift budget will match last year’s and 71% say they’re committed to staying on plan. It appears, also, that shoppers are favoring relatively smaller gifts with 85% spending $50 or less for most of their gifts.

“This year looks to be a more planned and, perhaps more personalized, Christmas with the majority of shoppers intent on staying within budgets – that, for many, are smaller than last year,” says John Ross, president, Inmar Analytics President and EVP, Inmar. “Less expensive gifts, including food, are on lots of gift lists with shoppers in the grocery channel actively using coupons to help with their holiday spending.”

Some shoppers (12%) are looking to wrap up their efforts by the end of this week but 56% are giving themselves until Dec. 20 to finish and 31% are planning to keep shopping right up until Christmas Eve. Many of those waiting to finish (82%) are doing so in hopes of finding even better deals.

“Those who are waiting for the last-minute deals are holding out for seriously big discounts,” says Britt Beemer, chairman and CEO of America’s Research Group. “Fifty percent off just won’t cut it!”

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