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The survey found that 55.7 percent of shoppers have started buying holiday gifts, the second-highest level in the history of the survey, down slightly from the record 56.6 percent at the same time last year. Three percent said they were finished shopping.
"Consumers are looking for great prices and promotions earlier than ever, and retailers answered that demand by offering Black Friday deals as soon as the day after Halloween," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "This time of year is about finding the right gifts while staying on budget.”
Clothing and accessories remain the most popular gifts this year, given by 61 percent of shoppers; 56 percent will give gift cards, according to the survey. Nearly half of shoppers, 44 percent, will give books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games; 42 percent will give toys, 31 percent food or candy and 30 percent will give electronics.
Holiday shoppers are planning to purchase an average of three gift cards with an approximate value of $46 per card, the second most-popular gift after clothing. Spending on gift cards is expected to reach $27.5bn, up from last year's planned $26bn. The most popular types of gift cards include those from restaurants (35 percent of buyers), department stores (33 percent), Visa/MasterCard/American Express (22 percent), coffee shops (21 percent) and entertainment (17 percent).
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