I dread going out today.
You see, the weather stinks, I hate crowds and I am so not motivated to throw cash away or see any more credit card charges on my statement.
I guess I am not alone.
Typical respondents to the National Retail Foundation’s “Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions” survey had finished 47% of their holiday shopping by the second week of December, a significant drop from last year’s 53% average.
The shortened shopping season, five fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, could be one problem. For me, it is not the likely one though.
Only 8% of respondents said their shopping is complete, and more than 41 million people have not even begun their holiday shopping. The big procrastinators were men and 35-to-44 year-olds – 21% of each group said they haven’t started their shopping.
According to the survey, the top shopping spots will be discount stores (43% of shoppers say they plan to visit one) and department stores (43% intend to hit one). Online shops are the season’s big winners: 40% of respondents said they plan to skip the brick-and-mortar stores altogether and shop online for the remainder of the season – a surge from 35% who said that last year.
Gift choices are skewing to practical categories, with clothing at the top of the list: 45% of shoppers said they had bought clothes for someone on their gift list. Also popular are books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games (41% have them on their shopping list); toys (33%); and electronics (25%).
Gift cards are the most requested gift for the holidays, according to the NRF report, but the number of people purchasing them slipped to 24% from 30% this time last year.
You see, we have been buying so much crap over the past few years we are really only want to buy what we really need. And, since we have waited this long, we may as well wait until the after Christmas sales start next week anyway. Oh, and there is a little issue with the economy, job losses, foreclosures etc.
This year it may be a Merry After-Christmas for anyone who still has the money and the will to shop.