Majority of shoppers not finished with Christmas shopping according to survey
There’s less than two weeks left till Christmas, and according to the Florida Retail Federation, the majority of us aren’t ready for it.
On Wednesday, Dec. 16, the FRF, a statewide trade association representing retailers, released the results of its annual spending survey, showing that nine out of ten shoppers have yet to complete their holiday shopping, still needing to purchase 54 percent of their holiday lists.
Retailers have also noted that overall sales have shown an increase in sales since 2014 of more than 3 percent; however, prices have also taken a dip by 2.9 percent.
“Due to the large number of people with so much left to buy on their gift lists, it should make for a great finish to this holiday shopping season for retailers and consumers,” said FRF President/CEO Rick McAllister. “Retailers are responding to the demands of consumers by offering lower prices, which means a greater volume of sales overall.”
According to the survey, only 10 percent of holiday shoppers — which equates to 22.6 million people — say they are finished with their shopping, leaving the other 90 percent left with lists that still have gifts, food, décor and/or other holiday items to buy.
For many shoppers, the last-minute rush to buy gifts motivated them enough to shop a little earlier this year.
“I started shopping early November,” said Amber DeWitt, a nursing student at FGCU. “When it gets to be December, the stores become too crowded and hard to shop in.”
Despite earlier openings during Black Friday in November, which saw sales begin as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the survey reports that consumers are waiting to do their holiday shopping. Twenty-two percent of shoppers surveyed say they are holding out for the best deals on holiday merchandise.
“More than anything, perhaps, is that consumers have become conditioned to expect discounts and promotions,” said McAllister. “It’s important that all retailers recognize this changing dynamic and reflect this change in their prices to ensure a profitable finish to the holiday season.”
Many consumers are simply struggling to figure out what to buy. Nearly half claim that they are still weighing their options between gifts, while nearly 29 percent said that they are choosing to wait to mid to late December because their friends and family haven’t given them enough gift ideas.
“I started shopping on Black Friday because of all the deals,” said Ana Alvarado, an FGCU early childhood major who has not completed her shopping. “I just haven’t found the right thing for some of my family members yet. Plus, it’s been really hectic at the stores because we are so close to Christmas. So, I’m still searching.”
On the other hand, one in five surveyed admitted that they are just procrastinating.
The survey suggests that a third of shoppers will finish their holiday shopping sometime before Dec. 18, while 10 percent are planning to wait until Dec. 23.