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More holiday shoppers plan to pay with cash


November 17, 2009
By Amanda Ryder

Nov. 17, 2009 – It’s the year for a little more green and a little less plastic. According to NRF’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, one-fourth of U.S. (24.9 per cent) of holiday shoppers will pay for gifts this year with cash.

It’s the year for a little more green and a little less plastic.
According to NRF’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey,
one-fourth (24.9 per cent) of U.S. holiday shoppers will pay for gifts this year
with cash, a 9.1 percent increase from last year’s 22.8 per cent. In addition, 42.5 per cent of shoppers plan to pay primarily with debit or check cards, a 2.5 per cent increase from last year. The number of shoppers who will rely on credit cards is expected to fall 10.1 per cent, with 28.3 per cent of people using credit this year compared to 31.5 percent a year ago. Just four percent of holiday shoppers plan to pay for most gifts with personal checks.
 
“With many holiday shoppers focused on spending within their limits, it’s no surprise that fewer people will be relying on credit cards this year,” said Tracy Mullin, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation. “If the strong promotions and sales we’ve seen the last few weeks are any indication of what retailers are planning, shopping on a budget this year will not be a problem.”
 
Despite the talk of low inventory, many shoppers seem to be slow to head to the stores this holiday season. According to the survey, 52.4 per cent of consumers have not yet begun their holiday shopping, and an additional 21.2 per cent said they have completed less than one-tenth of their list.
 
“While many retailers are already aggressively promoting popular holiday gift items, Black Friday might be the tipping point for shoppers this year,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Many shoppers are anxiously anticipating the deals and bargains that retailers will unveil in the days after Thanksgiving.”
 
Early announcements of planned Black Friday promotions such as 50 per cent off of outerwear, $25 designer apparel and $10 toys may have influenced what people plan to buy this holiday season. According to the survey, more people plan to buy clothing (58.4 per cent vs. 57.4 per cent in 2008) and toys (42.2 per cent vs. 41.6 per cent in 2008) this year. Other items on shopping lists include gift cards (54.3 per cent), consumer electronics (28.6 per cent), food and candy (27.6 per cent), personal care or beauty items (22.4 per cent) and jewelry (18.4 per cent).

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