America’s Research Group and Inmar Holiday Shopping Survey Reveals Active Shopping/Deal hunting Following “Black Friday”

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Weekend-long kick-off to holiday shopping season put some gift givers ahead of schedule but many shoppers still active with lists not finished.

After a successful extended Black Friday and another week in the stores, a healthy proportion of holiday shoppers are well on their way to being finished with their gift buying. However, while 30 percent of shoppers are reporting that they are either finished or 90 percent through with their holiday shopping, the opportunity for retailers to make merry before the end of the season is still there as another 37 percent see themselves as having completed only half or less of their gift buying.

Shoppers are looking in lots of places for gifts and deals – including the grocery store. Better than 50 percent of shoppers are planning to give food as a gift this year with 49 percent having used a coupon in the grocery store in the last 30 days to help stretch holiday budgets. While 54 percent of shoppers are visiting four or more stores looking for saving opportunities, those with smartphones are leveraging them in the same effort -- 38 percent of shoppers with smartphones having reported using them to look for or buy holiday gifts.

As for overall spending, 42 percent of shoppers say their 2013 holiday gift budget will match last year’s and 71 percent say they’re committed to staying on plan. The fact that 87 percent of shoppers say deals are as good or better than last year may help with managing budgets. It appears, also, that shoppers are favoring relatively smaller gifts with 85 percent spending $50 or less for most of their gifts.

“This year looks to be a more planned and, perhaps more personalized, Christmas with the majority of shoppers intent on staying within budgets – that, for many, are smaller than last year,” says John Ross, president, Inmar Analytics President and EVP, Inmar. “Less expensive gifts, including food, are on lots of gift lists with shoppers in the grocery channel actively using coupons to help with their holiday spending.”

Some shoppers (12 percent) are looking to wrap up their efforts by the end of this week but 56 percent are giving themselves until December 20 to finish and 31 percent are planning to keep shopping right up until Christmas Eve. Many of those waiting to finish (82 percent) are doing so in hopes of finding even better deals. Their expectations of savings are steep with 77 percent looking for discounts of at least 60 percent.

“Those who are waiting for the last minute deals are holding out for seriously big discounts,” says Britt Beemer, Chairman and CEO of America’s Research Group. “Fifty percent off just won’t cut it!”

The ARG/Inmar research consisted of 1000 telephone interviews conducted December 6-8, 2013 at ARG headquarters in Charleston, SC. The error factor is plus or minus 3.8 percent. The next ARG/Inmar shopping survey will be conducted December 13-15. The surveys will continue every week through the shopping season.

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About America’s Research Group
America’s Research Group, one of the nation’s foremost consumer research and strategic marketing firms, marked its 30th anniversary in 2009. CEO Britt Beemer is a key resource and advisor to leading brands and top retailers. He is author of The Customer Rules, published by McGraw-Hill. Britt Beemer is a winner of the 2012 American Business Award for Executive of the Year - Business Services and Company of the Year - Business Services.

About Inmar
Inmar is a technology company that operates intelligent commerce networks. Our platforms connect offline and online transactions in real time for leading retailers, manufacturers and trading partners across multiple industries which rely on Inmar to securely manage billions of dollars in transactions. Our Promotions, Supply Chain and Healthcare platforms enable commerce, generate meaningful data and offer growth-minded leaders actionable analytics and execution with real-time visibility. Founded in 1980, Inmar is headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with locations throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.

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Sharon Joyner-Payne
Inmar, Inc.
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