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Consumers Eager to Get a Jump Start on Holiday Shopping, According to NRF

For Immediate Release
Shari Brown or Kathy Grannis (855-NRF-PRESS)

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Consumers Eager to Get a Jump Start on Holiday Shopping, According to NRF
-More Shoppers Planning Gift Card, Jewelry, Toy and Apparel Purchases This Year

Washington, November 13, 2012 – Already eyeing hot toys, fashions and exclusive products, consumers are beginning to make a dent in their holiday shopping lists. According to the National Retail Federation’s holiday consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, 52.8 percent of Americans have already started their holiday shopping, up from 51.4 percent last year. 

“In order to win over savvy shoppers this year, retailers are well aware that their deals have to stand out, and it looks like there’s plenty of people eager to get their hands on the exclusive promotions we are already seeing,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “With more promotions to come, gift givers will have ample opportunities this holiday season to seek out the perfect gift – either for themselves or for others.”   

With plans to spend slightly more than last year, shoppers will stock up on lots of discretionary gifts for their loved ones. The most popular choice: clothing and clothing accessories.  According to the survey, nearly six in 10 (59.7%) consumers will splurge on fashion and apparel items and other accessories. About the same amount of people (59.2%) will buy gift cards, which are also the most requested gift item. Children will also benefit this holiday season – 45.1 percent of people say they will buy toys. Additionally, 22.5 percent of shoppers will go the extra mile and surprise someone special with jewelry, the highest amount since 2007. 

Other popular gifts will be books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games (51.5%), electronics (31.7%), personal care or beauty items (24.4%) and food and candy (32.6%). 

The survey also found shoppers much prefer to use money they already have or have saved up to purchase holiday gifts.  More than four in 10 (43.4%)will rely on debit cards as their primary form of payment. An additional 25.2 percent will use cash and 2.8 percent will use a check. Nearly three in 10 (28.7%) will charge their gifts. 

“Consumers are keen on scoring hot holiday deals this year, and exclusive apparel, electronics and toy promotions are making them all the more anxious,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “Trying to stay within budget, shoppers will map out their holiday season shopping strategy before stepping foot in any store or logging onto any website.” 

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but when it comes to seeking out ideas for the perfect gift, more holiday shoppers are finding motivation online this year.  According to the survey, 47.3 percent of consumers said they will look for holiday gift ideas online. Coming in a close second is in-store inspiration, with 45.2 percent of Americans noting that they will take a stroll in the store to find the ideal gift. Other popular areas for insight include advertising circulars (36.2%), television (35.4%) and friends and family (40.4%). Proving they are still seen as a value to shoppers, more than one-third (34.1%) of consumers say they will seek ideas from catalogs. Additionally, 13.3 percent will head to Facebook and 5.8 percent will use Pinterest to gain inspiration.   

About the Survey 

The NRF 2012 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 9,383 consumers and was conducted for NRF by BIGinsight from November 1-6, 2012. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent. 

BIGinsight delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, BIGinsight 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.BIGinsight.com

As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support 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 Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com.