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The National Retail Federation (NRF) is out with a new survey suggesting that people have been delaying their Christmas shopping, reflecting a continuing recessionary mindset even though some economists are saying that the country is slowly emerging from the economic downturn.

According to NRF’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, “the average person had completed 46.7 percent of their holiday shopping by the second week of December, less than the 47.1 percent completed by this time last year. This is the lowest percentage since 2004, when the average person had completed 46.3 percent of their shopping by the same period..” In addition, “nearly 42 million people (19.1%) had not even started their shopping as of late last week, while 8.6 percent of shoppers have completely finished. Adults over 65 years old have completed the most shopping (50.0%) while adults 45-54 year olds have completed the least (44.1%).”

Other notes from the survey:

• “With many people shopping for bargains, discount stores (42.0%) and department stores (42.0%) can expect to see the most traffic in the coming days. Grocery stores can also expect to see an increase in last-minute shopping this year (11.5% vs. 8.4% in 2008) as more people consider food or candy as a gift item or head to supermarkets to purchase ingredients for homemade meals. Electronic stores (22.0%), clothing or accessories stores (20.6%), outlet stores (13.6%) and drug stores (7.8%) will also see their share of holiday shoppers before the big day, though a big chunk of procrastinators will also shop online (38.0%).”
• “When asked which payment method they have used the most, nearly four out of ten (39.3%) have used their debit or check cards most often. As expected, fewer people have used credit cards as their preferred payment method this year (30.9% vs. 33.8% in 2008), more than one-quarter (26.0%) have used cash, and a mere 3.8 percent have relied on checks.”
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