Millions are still shopping for the holidays


Shopping / Christmas / HolidayWe thought we had finished up with any stories about the need to continue marketing your wares for consumers looking to buy gifts for their families and friends. But according to Consumer Reports, there will be plenty of action right up to 12/24.

According to CR, an estimated 132 million people are still in the market for gift-buying. And an incredible 17 million will still be shopping on the day before Christmas.

CR says the 132 million figure represents 68% of the entire pool of shoppers.

“We found in a previous poll that 20 percent of Americans dread shopping for gifts, which could explain why there are so many procrastinators this year,” said Tod Marks , Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. “Those who haven’t finished shopping can expect crowded stores – including on Christmas Eve.”

The news isn’t what you’d call superb for retailers – consumer last-minute buying tactics lean heavily to the convenience rather than the thoughtful side, especially the 27% that will simply make a gift of cash. By far the biggest gift will be a gift card or certificate, the choice of 62%. 15% will opt for booze, 12% will go for lottery tickets, and 4% will simply hand out IOUs.

But there is still significant cash to be spent on average. CR says the average expenditure is estimated to be $483, and so far on average only $340 of that has been spent.

RBR-TVBR observation: Desperation can be a potent sales argument for the broadcast sales force. Consumers may be desperate for ideas, cash-stretching sales or both. Retailers may be desperate to make sure their gift cards are among the hot items, and overstocked retailers may be desperate to move the particular overstocked items.

In short, it is fertile ground for smart broadcasters to sell a few last minute spots. And don’t forget those restaurants located in or near shopping venues that may also be interested in drumming up some demand.