Consumers still have holiday shopping to complete

With Christmas ten days away, 23% of consumers said that they have not started their holiday shopping yet, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Of those consumers that have started their shopping, 49% report that they have completed at least 50% of their shopping, while 27% have completed less than 50%of their shopping, with one percent unsure of how much they have shopped thus far.

“This survey confirms what we have known for some time; we are a society of procrastinators,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist and director of research. “Data from previous holiday seasons show that the majority of purchases take place in the last two weeks of the season. In fact, last year, 41% of all holiday purchases took place in the final eight days of the season.”

According to the survey, adults said that they have done most of their holiday shopping at discount stores (37%) and traditional department stores (18%) this year, followed by specialty stores (11%), online (8%), big-box retailers (5%), and catalogs (4%). A total of with 17% said they were unsure as to where they have made most of their purchases. On average, adults are expecting to spend $636 on holiday purchases, with men spending a bit more ($677) versus women ($598) this holiday season.

Opinion Research Corp. conducted the survey on behalf of ICSC during the period of December 11-14. The telephone survey consisted of four questions relating to consumers’ holiday shopping patterns and featured a national sampling of 1,000 adults, 18 years and older. Margin of error is plus or minus 3%.