Holiday Spending Up, But So Are Last-Minute Gifts

Earlier this week, we warned you: Holiday Shipping Deadlines Looming. Your response? “Whatever.”

More Americans than ever are procrastinating on their gift purchases – or so claim not one, but two new polls. Western Union released a survey yesterday that says…

“Only 13 percent of consumers have finished their holiday shopping. As of the first week of December, 41 percent of those surveyed said they had not started purchasing gifts, 24 percent were halfway done, and 17 percent were almost finished, for a total of 82 percent of consumers still shopping for holiday gifts.”

And American Express backs that up with a poll of its own, although the results are a tad tardier: “In fact, 84 percent of consumers say they have not yet wrapped up their holiday shopping.”

American Express says that even though we’re buying later, we’re spending more…

“More than a quarter (26 percent) of those who started their shopping say they are spending more this year compared to last. Reasons include expanded gift lists (45 percent), buying more expensive items (35 percent) and making purchases for themselves while shopping for others (33 percent).”

Blame the Internet. The National Retail Federation’s own survey shows 37 million people hadn’t even started their holiday shopping last week, but with the prevalence of online shopping (which 37 percent of us plan to do) and the advent of mobile-phone shopping (which 26 percent will do), procrastinating isn’t really a problem. You really can wait to the last minute now…

There…now you know you’re not alone. Feel better?

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