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Holiday Shoppers Approach The Finish Line…and Plan A Victory Lap

With just a few weeks left in the annual Holiday shop-a-thon, 86% of holiday shoppers still have more to buy (down from 91% the same time last year), according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. So far, Holiday receipts are adding up to an average of $445, accounting for just over half of their Holiday shopping budgets. For many who got a head start on Holiday shopping this year, the early start meant more time to check of their gift lists. As a result, more (14%) are reporting that they’ve finished their gift buying, up from 9% this time last year. But it’s not over until it’s over, as more than half (57%) of consumers say they won’t ignore the temptation to shop day-after-Christmas deals.

“Holiday shopping is in full swing,” said Claire Bennett, EVP, Loyalty and Membership Benefits at American Express. “Most Americans are just over half way done with their shopping, and many have plans to spend even after the Christmas holiday.”

While those who have started tackling their Christmas list still have a ways to go, almost a third (32%) of consumers had not started shopping as of December 1, and 77% of shoppers expect to shop at the last minute, up from 73% last year.

December 26 th “Day After” Traffic

Retailers can also anticipate that shoppers will turn around and take advantage of post-Christmas holiday savings again this year. Fifty-seven percent, the same number as last year, say they’ll shop on December 26, expecting to spend an average of $187.

Why bother? Thirty-five percent say they’ll take advantage of post-holiday sales to buy for themselves, while 21% will get a head start on next year’s present purchasing. Nine percent also admit to buying this year’s holiday gifts for others, even if they are a little late. Twenty-two percent will put gift cards they received to immediate use. In fact, 44% expect to spend the gift cards they receive within one month.

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