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NRF: 17% of Christmas Shoppers Purchased Jewelry or Precious Metal Item

Majority Not Seeking Price Matches

Dec 17, 2014 12:39 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Slightly more than 9 percent of U.S. consumers who purchase gifts for the Christmas festival have completed their shopping, according to an updated survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation (NRF). Overall, consumers said that a little more than half of their shopping was completed as of December 10.

Across all gift categories, 17 percent of shoppers confirmed that they had already purchased  a jewelry gift (or precious metal accessory) for Christmas. The figure was off by one-half a percentage point from December 2013 and down from 20.8 percent in December 2012. Jewelry gift spending was roughly the same for all demographic groups -- in the range of  15.1 percent to 18.7 percent --  with the exception of those 25 to 34 years of age for which 23.5 percent have already made a jewelry purchase.

The most popular gift purchases, so far, have been clothing (51.3 percent), toys (36.3 percent), books, CDs, DVDs or video games (35.1 percent) and gift cards or certificates (33.5 percent), according to the study.

“This year we witnessed ‘a tale of two holiday shoppers’ with many jumping on retailers’ early, hard-to-pass-up in-store and online promotions, and others waiting until the last minute to wrap up their lists,” said NRF's CEO Matthew Shay. “In the final stretch, retailers will continue to look for creative ways to attract those with shopping left to do by offering exclusive Super Saturday promotions, extending their in-store holiday hours and promoting deals on expedited shipping. We are optimistic the holiday season will end on a high note for retailers.”

Super Saturday, defined as the final Saturday before Christmas,  falls on December 20 this year and, in a separate report, ShopperTrak Inc. has long held it would be the business shopping day of 2014, replacing Black Friday which had reigned for decades.

The NRF, for the first time in its consumer survey, asked those who had completed less than half of their shopping why they have held back.  The data revealed  that 46.8 percent said they  were still trying to decide what to buy and 28.4 percent said they were waiting for input from their family and friends. Another 28.4 percent said they have waited due to other financial priorities, while 21.7 percent admitted to being  procrastinators and 23.4 percent said they are waiting for better bargains.

Overall, only 15.6 percent of shoppers have  requested a price match from a retailer but the average stripped important demographic nuances. The NRF found that men (18.1 percent) were more likely to ask a retailer for a price match than women (13.2 percent) and by age group, 27.9 percent of 18 to 24 year olds, 21.8 percent of  25 to 34 year olds and 18 percent of 35 to 44 year olds requested a retailer to match a lower price. Those who are older than 44 made the request much less than average and only 4.8 percent of those older than 65 asked for a price match.

With still plenty of shopping to do, the NRF found that 32.8 percent of consumers plan to buy their last Christmas  gifts before December 18; 14.5 percent will wrap up on Super Saturday  and 9.1 percent expect to wait until Christmas Eve, December 24.

Prosper’s principal analyst, Pam Goodfellow, said,  “Hurried last-minute shoppers will look for gift cards, clothing items, toys and other popular gifts from a variety of retailers, likely even hoping to win big with expedited shipping deals and extremely low prices online and in stores.”

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Tags: christmas, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, NRF, retailers, Shopping, super Saturday
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