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Survey sees cash payments up during holidays


Washington, D.C. The National Retail Federation’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, released Tuesday, found that more consumers will pay with cash, rather than credit cards, this holiday shopping season.

The NRF survey, conducted by BIGresearch, revealed that 24.9% of holiday shoppers will pay for gifts this year with cash, a 9.1% increase from last year’s 22.8%.

In addition, 42.5% of shoppers plan to pay primarily with debit or check cards, a 2.5% increase from last year. The number of shoppers who will rely on credit cards is expected to fall 10.1%, with 28.3% of people using credit this year compared with 31.5% a year ago. Four percent of holiday shoppers plan to pay for most gifts with personal checks.

Despite the talk of low inventory, many shoppers seem to be slow to head to the stores this holiday season. According to the survey, 52.4% of consumers have not yet begun their holiday shopping, and an additional 21.2% said they have completed less than one-tenth of their list.

Early announcements of deep Black Friday promotions may have influenced what people plan to buy this holiday season. According to the survey, more people plan to buy clothing (58.4% versus 57.4% in 2008) and toys (42.2% versus 41.6% in 2008) this year. Other items on shopping lists include gift cards (54.3%); consumer electronics (28.6%); food and candy (27.6%); personal care or beauty items (22.4%) and jewelry (18.4%).

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