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    Some Consumers Waiting to Spend

    Anticipating last-minute deals as holiday clock runs down

    In the last week of the holiday season, a new survey by the Nielsen Co. shows that of the 46 percent of Americans shopping this week, one-fifth waited to shop in order to get last-minute deals while nearly 40 percent say they haven’t had time to shop yet.

    Some (18 percent) wait because they enjoy shopping the last week of Christmas.

    “Savvy consumers are taking advantage of aggressive retail promotions,” said James Russo, Nielsen’s VP of global consumer insights. “Consumers know this week especially is critical for retailers and retailers are going to take extreme steps to get consumers’ attention.”

    Some additional insights:

    - Holiday Spend: Nearly one-fifth (17 percent) of consumers plan to spend more than $1,000 this holiday season while one-quarter will spend $500 to $1,000; 27 percent will spend $250 to $500. Only 7 percent of consumers will spend less than $100.
    - Making a List, Checking it Twice: Fifty-five percent of consumers tell Nielsen they are planning their holiday spending, armed with a shopping list.
    - Retail Winners: Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) will be shopping department stores, while nearly half are visiting supercenters/mass merchandiser stores. Other shopping locations: online (45 percent), electronic stores (38 percent), toy stores (32 percent), dollar stores (29 percent), grocery stores (32 percent) and warehouse clubs (27 percent).
    - More Presents? Although the majority (58 percent) of consumers plan to spend about the same this holiday season, nearly 20 percent will spend more.
    - Nielsen Holiday Forecast: Nielsen predicts a more balanced level of essential and discretionary spending and expects online retailers experiencing the biggest surge while brick and mortar stores hold steady. The company forecasts a strong season for technology products and gift cards with a slight uptick in discretionary items such as jewelry and DVDs.

    “Consumers have spent the better part of two years adjusting their behavior and consumption levels and we see that reflected in their holiday spending,” Russo said.

    Nielsen surveyed more than 1,400 consumers, demographically and geographically representative of the total U.S. population, during the week of Dec. 13.

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