Consumer Report Shows Holiday Shopping Season Continues

Some 47% of those hitting stores this week plan to redeem newly-received gift cards.  

The 2011 holiday shopping season will seemingly extend at least another week, as four in 10 Americans plan on hitting the stores over the next few days, according to a new Consumer Reports poll.

Of those who will be shopping the week after Christmas, 82% said the lure of post-holiday sales was the biggest reason, 47% want to redeem their newly-received gift cards, and 31 expect to be returning gifts.

The Consumer Reports poll also revealed why many Americans won’t be hitting the stores this week.  Forty-six percent of survey respondents who won’t be shopping said they just can’t deal with any more crowds, 44% are simply sick of shopping, while 20% said that they were out of money.

“What our survey shows is that the vast majority of Americans who will be shopping this week are predictably looking for post-holiday blowout sales,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert. “And those who aren’t shopping this week are predictably all shopped-out and low on money and patience.”

Gift Return Trends
A Consumer Reports follow-up holiday poll revealed that nearly one in seven adults returned a gift within the first two weeks after Christmas last year. This year Americans estimate that they will spend an hour, on average, returning gifts – one in five believes that they will spend two or more hours. However, just 42% of holiday shoppers typically include gift receipts with their purchases, and only a little more than half of adults take the time to investigate store’s (54%) or online retailer’s (56%) return policy.

Gift Cards
An earlier Consumer Reports poll revealed that 113 million Americans received gift cards last holiday season, and 62% of adults plan to give them as gifts this year. But at the start of the 2011 holiday shopping season, a quarter of recipients still had an unused gift card from last year.

 The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample  of  telephone  households.  1,017 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+ between Dec. 2-4, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 3.1% points at a 95% confidence level. To allow for year-over-year trending, data was standardized for consistency.



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