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So what will consumers shop for? The top three holiday-gift items for 2012 are gift cards (21.3 percent), apparel (14.1 percent) and toys and games (14.1 percent). Gift cards have consistently been one of the top items that consumers exchange during the holiday season, which is a key reason why the holiday season has been extended into January as gift-card redemptions dominate shopping in the post-Christmas period.
What do you want for Christmas? The consumers' selection of gifts to give does not always match what consumers hope to receive. The top items that consumers say they want for this holiday season are: (1) gift cards (59 percent); (2) electronic gadgets (38 percent); and (3) electronic media (28 percent), which today spans music, CDs, DVDs and e-books. Interestingly, the ICSC-Goldman Sachs survey found that women are more inclined to want a gift card than men (63 percent vs. 55 percent). However, men are more inclined to want electronic gadgets for their holiday gifts than women (46 percent vs. 31 percent). With the traditional holiday-season length being at its longest possible span this year (between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day is 32 days in 2012), consumers were asked when do they expect to finish their holiday-gift buying. About a fifth (21 percent) reported they intend to complete it within November with Black Friday shopping alone accounting for about 60 percent of the November completion target (or 12 percent of the November-December total). A little less than a fifth (19 percent) expected that they would complete their shopping by the first week of December and 27 percent thought the second week of December was their likely completion time frame. Another 20 percent reported the third week of December was their expectation for completion, while just three percent were real procrastinators, expecting to finish on Christmas Eve or later.
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a bank holding company and a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry.
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