Procrastinators Rush To Meet Holiday Deadline

The recent survey found that 93 percent of gift givers will have made all their purchases by Christmas Eve. While 7 percent say they will still be shopping on Christmas Eve, and 4 percent said their final gifts wouldn’t be bought until after Christmas.

As of December 12, consumers still shopping planned to make their remaining purchases online (51 percent), at department stores (41 percent), discount stores (25 percent), apparel stores (21 percent), electronics stores (17 percent), local/small businesses (14 percent) and grocery stores (13 percent), according to the annual consumer sentiment survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

The survey found 53 percent of consumers have already purchased clothing as gifts; 38 percent gift cards; 37 percent toys; 32 percent video games, books, and movies; 24 percent food or candy and 23 percent electronics or computer-related accessories.

Gifts of experience such as a cooking class, spa treatment, membership for a wine club or tickets to a sporting event have continued to be popular, with 39 percent of consumers hoping to receive an experience gift and 23 percent planning to give one.

When asked about receiving gift cards this holiday season, 42 percent of people surveyed said they would wait for a good sale to maximize the value of the cards, and an equal split of consumers (20 percent) said they would use them as quickly as possible or save them for a rainy day.

For consumers who missed the Christmas Day deadline for gift buying, 50 percent plan to take advantage of after-Christmas sales in stores, and 45 percent plan to do the same online.

The week immediately following Christmas (December 26 – January 1), is an attractive time for many holiday shoppers. More than half (51 percent) said they will shop during that period to take advantage of post-holiday sales, with 27 percent saying they would do so to use gift cards they receive and 17 percent to return or exchange unwanted gifts.