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Half of Holiday Shoppers Plan to Wrap Up Lists Online, Highest in NRF’s Survey History

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis or Bethany Aronhalt (855) NRF-PRESS
press@nrf.com
www.nrf.com/holidays

Download complete survey; view sample charts in NRF Retail Insight Center

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Half of Holiday Shoppers Plan to Wrap Up Lists Online, Highest in NRF’s Survey History


WASHINGTON, December 16, 2013 – In what is turning out to be a holiday season like no other, it is evident that consumers are ready to wrap up their shopping lists before it’s too late. According to NRF’s latest holiday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly half (49.9%) of holiday shoppers indicate they plan to do the remainder of their holiday shopping online, the highest percent in the survey’s 11-year history. As of December 9, before the most recent weekend, 32 million holiday shoppers had not even started shopping.

“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 percent will wrap up their shopping at their favorite department store and 37.4 percent 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%).

Clothes, Toys Popular for Gift Options So Far; Most Shoppers Plan to Finish by December 18

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.

Many who aren’t finished shopping plan to wrap up by Wednesday (29.2%), 14.2 percent on Friday, and another 12.3 percent on Saturday while 10.1 percent will wait until Christmas Eve.

“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 Consumer 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.”  

Consumers Stick to Debit Card Usage; Nearly 10 Percent Will Shop Online Christmas Day

Budget-conscious shoppers made the most with money they had so far this holiday season, with most purchasing their gifts with debit cards. A total of 41.9 percent paid with debit cards, 31.8 percent used credit cards, 24 percent used cash and 2.3 percent used checks.

Like Thanksgiving Day, millions of Americans will take advantage of Christmas day to spend quality time with family and friends, and potentially scope out deep discounts retailers will offer online. According to the survey, 9.2 percent of those celebrating Christmas will shop online that day, up from 4.9 percent when NRF first asked in 2009. Additionally, 28 percent will browse the web, 53.4 percent will cook a holiday meal and 10.5 percent will go to the movies.

Tablet and smartphone owners will put their devices to work in the coming days. Specifically, 46.6 percent of tablet owners will research products and compare prices to aid in their purchase decisions, and 36.3 percent of smartphone owners will do the same. Almost two in five (19.4%) smartphone owners will actually purchase items via the device, and one-third of tablet owners (33.1%) will make gift purchases using the device in the coming days.

About the Survey

The NRF 2013 holiday consumer spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 6,324 consumers and was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics December 2-9, 2013. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.

Prosper Insights & Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.ProsperDiscovery.com

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com

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