Shoppers are looking for more practical gifts this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2008 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
In addition to the 44.8 percent of shoppers who are buying clothing, 40.8 percent have been purchasing books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games; 33.1 percent, toys; and 24.5 percent, electronics.
Gift card purchases are down this year: Only 24.3 percent of shoppers have bought gift cards compared with 30.2 percent who had done so by this time last year.
Not only aren’t they purchasing as many gift cards, neither are consumers using plastic to pay for their purchases. Two-thirds of shoppers (66.2 percent) have used cash, debit cards or checks to pay for holiday purchases. That is up from 64.5 percent last year.
Finally, the survey indicates which stores are getting the most holiday business. It shakes out like this:
Discounters, 43 percent
Department stores, 42.5 percent
Speciality stores, 31.8 percent
Internet, 40.2 percent (up from 34.9 percent last year)
And a quick reminder about what we reported yesterday: Plenty of people still have shopping to do. Retailers should make the most of this fact by expanding their hours, hiring extra employees to stock shelves and offering a lot of sales and promotions, says NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin.
BIGresearch conducted the survey for the NRF.