The average holiday shopper is more than halfway through his or her list, according to the latest from the National Retail Federation, with some 56.5% of his or her gifts already purchased. The Washington, D.C.-based trade group says that is a record high, and a big difference from research done at the same time last year, when only 46.5% had already purchased gifts at this time last year --- and the percentage is the highest in the survey’s 10-year history.
And 11.3% say they’ve completely finished their list.
Clothing is still king, already purchased by 53.1% of shoppers (up from 44.2% last year), while 41.9% have scored toys (up from 36.3%.) More than four in 10 have already bought gift cards as well, another high for this survey, which began 10 years ago. Some 28.3% have picked up a gift in electronics, 21.8% in personal care or beauty, and 20.8% in jewelry.
Some 45.5% say they intend to finish the remainder of their Christmas shopping online, with the intention of making shipping deadlines, while 44.5% plan to pick up their final gifts at a department store, and 34.6% at a discount store.
Overall, some 30% plan to get the rest of their shopping done by before Dec. 18, while 10.2% are sure they will wait until the very last minute.
Meanwhile, Deloitte’s latest Consumer Spending Index predicts that while holiday sales will continue at this healthy pace, all the fiscal cliff chatter is likely to cramp consumer spending as the calendar turns.
“Tax increases in the New Year will take a toll on spending in early 2013, while additional economic fundamentals begin to deteriorate,” it says, including “a decline in real wages, rising food and energy prices and a slowdown in rising home prices may further weaken spending.”
"Santa Girl making Christmas list photo from Shutterstock"