Lots of holiday spending remains undone


Shopping / Christmas / HolidayAccording to Consumer Reports, despite record spending over Thanksgiving weekend and on Cyber Monday, over one third of consumers haven’t even started their gift shopping yet.

36% of all Americans haven’t started. As far as it goes, over half of those who have started aren’t even halfway done yet. Only 9% of the those who have begun their shopping are done; 58% aren’t at the halfway point yet.

“Our poll revealed that Americans have plenty of shopping left to do and are generally enjoying the holiday season so far,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. “However, they are also watching their dollars very closely and just as in years past, they’re looking for bargains.”

Consumers are spreading around the spending. Among those who have started:
* 58% have patronized mass merchandisers
* 39% have shopped online
* 32% have used department stores
* 28% have gone to specialty chain stores

CR said the spending median stands at $483 – with 81% saying they were at least somewhat concerned with limiting their spending and saving money.
The leading spending strategies include:
* Give less expensive gifts (55%)
* Be more active in seeking out sales and discount coupons (46%)
* Give gifts to fewer people (38%)
* Agree on more limited gift-giving arrangements within family or group of friends (e.g., Secret Santa, gift exchange) (29%)
* Limit online shopping to websites that offer free shipping (23%)
* Give homemade or other creative gifts instead of store-bought gifts (21%)
* Limit or cut down on holiday travel (19%)
* Send holiday cards to fewer people (16%)

According to CR, this is one area where newspapers are enjoying success. 43% said they are finding shopping deals there, compared to 36% who cited TV/radio advertising. Social media was rated low – 13%.

RBR-TVBR observation: OK, all you procrastinators out there raise your hands (author’s hand shoots up). Yeah, yeah, I’m always late. But I see I have lots of company, and that there’s still a lot of cash trapped in wallets and checking accounts that is trying to work loose, and all of that means that for retailers there is still plenty of reason to keep advertising. Your mission – remind them.