According to NRF’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the average person had completed 46.7% of their holiday shopping by the second week of December, compared to 47.1% completed by this time last year.
This is the lowest percentage since 2004, when the average person had completed 46.3% of their shopping by the same period.
Only 11.9% of shoppers say they will buy their last gift on Christmas Eve. Instead, the majority (35.0%) planned to finish their list by Dec. 19.
With many people shopping for bargains, discount stores (42.0%) and department stores (42.0%) can expect to see the most traffic in the coming days. Grocery stores can also expect to see an increase in last-minute shopping this year (11.5% vs. 8.4% in 2008) as more people consider food or candy as a gift item or head to supermarkets to purchase ingredients for homemade meals. Electronic stores (22.0%), clothing or accessories stores (20.6%), outlet stores (13.6%) and drug stores (7.8%) will also see their share of holiday shoppers before the big day, though a big chunk of procrastinators will also shop online (38.0%).
With an array of gift options, the majority of people (44.7%) say they have purchased apparel so far this year. Additionally, shoppers have been buying books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games (39.7%), toys (34.6%) gift cards (27.5%), consumer electronics (21.8%) and food (19.3%).