AMG Strategic Advisors' 2012 Holiday Shopper Attitude Survey Reveals Shoppers Make Last-Minute Decisions to Venture Out on Black Friday

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Survey shows that half of shoppers will stay home, and a third will make a last-minute decision to abandon Turkey leftovers in favor of bargain hunting.

"We predict solid holiday lifts despite the potential fiscal cliff as over 80 percent of shoppers plan to spend as much or more on holiday shopping versus last year," said Carrie Shea, President, AMG Strategic Advisors

AMG Strategic Advisors, the growth strategy consulting unit of Acosta Sales & Marketing, and leading shopper insights analyst firm, today announced the results of its 2012 Holiday Shopper Attitude Survey. The survey examined shopping habits of consumers across the United States, spanning multiple age groups, genders and geographic regions.

According to the survey, one in five shoppers anticipate doing either some or all of their holiday shopping on Black Friday. About half of shoppers surveyed have no plans to shop on the day after Thanksgiving. The study also reveals that about one-third of all shoppers will make a last-minute decision to go gift-shopping on the biggest buying day of the holiday season.

Fifty-six percent of shoppers agree with the statement, "Things are tight, so I'll try to control my spending as much as possible," and over one third of shoppers indicated that they "won't splurge, but I don't need to cut back either." Eighty-one percent of shoppers indicate that they will spend the same or more than last year, while 19 percent indicate they plan to spend less this holiday season.

The survey results underscore how retailers and manufacturers adapt their marketing and communications strategies to accommodate changing shopping patterns. "The high number of last-minute shoppers may make retailers nervous, but this metric underscores the importance of that pre-shopping communication that retailers and manufacturers need to get shoppers out the door, and into the store," said Colin Stewart, Senior Vice President of AMG Strategic Advisors. "Ad dollars are well spent during this period, and our survey found that 35 percent of shoppers pay closer attention to TV, newspaper ads and grocery store circulars during the holiday season."

The top three reasons for store selection during the holiday season are: Everyday low prices, holiday prices/sales, and store locations close to home. Not surprisingly, the survey indicated that the top food purchase shoppers planned for is turkey, with 71 percent of respondents indicating plans to purchase a holiday bird. Other top food purchases will include ham (51 percent), coffee (50 percent), and fresh bakery desserts (47 percent).

The survey also showed that consumers, while being judicious with spending and eager for bargains, are still overwhelmingly planning to entertain at least the same or more than they did last year. "We predict solid holiday lifts despite the potential fiscal cliff as over 80 percent of shoppers plan to spend as much or more on holiday shopping versus last year," said Carrie Shea, President of AMG Strategic Advisors. Shea added that “85 percent also plan to use coupons to save on items they normally purchase.”

Free or discounted shipping will figure prominently in online holiday shopping, with 46 percent of shoppers selecting their web purchases based on free or discounted shipping offers. And it would seem that at least some shoppers are taking the easy way out and giving gift certificates, with 55 percent planning to give gift certificates for specific retailers, and 37 percent giving restaurant gift certificates.

According to respondents, the biggest impact on holiday shopping is the devastating Hurricane Sandy, which has impacted holiday shopping plans of 17 percent of shoppers.

This survey was conducted by AMG Strategic Advisors using a proprietary shopper community of over 14,000 U.S. shoppers. The information above is provided by AMG Strategic Advisors and is solely for informational purposes. In addition, the statements above speak as of the date of this release. Factors could arise after this date affecting the outcomes and forecasts set forth above. AMG Strategic Advisors shall have no liability to any party for any action taken or not taken, or results obtained, in reliance on this information. For more information, please visit the company's new web site at

About AMG Strategic Advisors
AMG Strategic Advisors is the strategy and insights consulting unit of AMG, providing world-class integrated marketing solutions for CPG companies and retailers. AMG leverages its retailer relationships and industry experience to provide best-in-class consulting, brand positioning, shopper and marketing insights, and data analysis to increase sales momentum and drive ROI. For more information, visit

Contact: David A. Schutzman
203.550.8551, david(at)davidschutzmanmarketing(dot)com

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AMG Strategic Advisors
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