With the uncertainty of our current economic state and as the 2009 holiday shopping season kicks off, many consumers will be holding on to their pocketbooks a little tighter and spending less. According to a new Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll, 65 percent of Americans are planning on cutting back on all of their holiday expenses which includes: travel, entertainment and gifts. To view the full report of the latest poll, visit www.ConsumerReports.org.
This decrease in spending is expected on top of last year’s cutbacks. The 2008 Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll showed 76 percent of those surveyed indicated they were planning on cutting back on holiday spending.
The findings the Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll 2008 found that many consumers were still paying off previous holiday debt. Approximately 13.5 million American consumers (6%) continue to carry debt from the previous holiday season.
“This year, it all comes down to value and getting the best bang for your shopping dollar,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. “We’ve already seen aggressive discounts that make it seem more like November 28 rather than October 28, but retailers are getting more sophisticated about targeting their promotions to their best customers.”
Below are additional findings from the Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll:
Consumers have decided to scale back who will be receiving gifts on themselves family and friends among others, yet sparing grandparents, grandchildren, kids under 18, and the family pet.
According to the poll, desktop, laptop, and netbook computers, cell phones and smart phones, video game systems, and GPS systems – are expected to maintain steady sales.
For the second consecutive holiday season, many consumers have decided to begin their shopping season during the 3rd quarter (mid-October).
About half (46%) will be done with their shopping by mid-December and approximately 18 percent said they will wait until the very last minute to finish their shopping. This leaves about 4 percent of consumers not planning to complete their shopping until after the holidays.
This year, half (50%) of Americans will be making a budget for their holiday purchases, knowing that actually sticking to it will be a bit of a challenge. The poll also indicated that of the 38% of consumers who made a budget last year, 44% reported that they exceeded it; while 5% went way over budget.
About 51% plan on giving an electronic device or sorts to those on their list such as video games or accessories, digital cameras, headphones, or other gadgets.
Although they tagged with various disadvantages such as fees and expiration dates, about 46% are planning on buying gift cards.
So all in all, the majority (87%) of adult still remain optimistic that this holiday season will just as or even better than the previous year.
Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. 1,000 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+. Interviewing took place over October 15-18, 2009. The margin of error is +/- 3% points at a 95% confidence level
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Source: Consumer Reports