Many shoppers look forward to an early start for the holiday season

A total of 71% of adults will try to get their holiday shopping completed as early as possible this year with 34% of them saying they will start shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend (Friday through Sunday), according to a recent survey. On average, adults are expecting to spend $636 on holiday purchases with men spending a bit more ($677) verses women ($598) this holiday season.

According to the survey of adults commissioned by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), respondents said that they will make most of their holiday shopping purchases at a department store (44%) or discount store (20%) this year; followed by small specialty stores (9%), online (7%), catalogs (6%), and large specialty stores (5%). About 9% are undecided as to where they plan to do most of their holiday shopping.

Gift certificates/gift cards will be a popular gift this year, as 46% of those surveyed said they would purchase at least one as a gift.

Opinion Research Corporation conducted the survey on behalf of ICSC, during the period of Nov. 20-23. The telephone survey consisted of eight questions relating to consumers’ projected holiday spending plans and featured a national sampling of 1,014 adults, 18 years and older. Margin of error is plus or minus 3%.