Holiday Shopping's Far From Over: Report

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Retailers had better brace for a final barrage of holiday sales.

Despite an earlier-than-ever start to the holiday shopping season, 30 percent of consumers, or nearly 1 in 3, typically wait until Christmas week to do the majority of their holiday shopping, a new survey shows.

The data, compiled by digital couponing site Retail- MeNot in its latest Shoppers Trend Report, suggests that last-minute holiday shopping is widespread, with more than 91 percent of Americans fessing up to Christmas procrastination at one time or another.

Their reasons:
• 44 percent couldn’t decide what to buy;
• 30 percent were busy and ran out of time; and
• 21 percent waited to gauge their budget, needed to reciprocate after receiving an unexpected gift, or simply forgot.

Fifty-eight percent of the Jane- and Johnny-come-latelies said they prefer to shop in-store rather than online, in order to:
• avoid the worry of on-time delivery (69 percent);
• bypass expedited shipping costs (53 percent); and
• take advantage of the better last-minute deals (34 percent).

What’s more, nearly half (47 percent) said they would pick up their online order in store to avoid expedited shipping costs.

And the preferred purchase for procrastinators? Sixty-four percent cited gift cards (physical, digital or gift certificates) as their last-minute gift of choice.

Not covered by the study is the deluge of shoppers that typically re-descends on shopping malls beginning Dec. 26 to redeem their gift cards and search for post-Christmas bargains.

The RetailMeNot poll was conducted Dec. 1-6 among 1,024 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older, using an email invitation and online survey.


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