The Christmas hoopla may be quieting down, but the 2011 holiday shopping season looks as though it will hang on for at least another week, according to a new poll of shoppers. Four-out-of-10 Americans plan on hitting the store over the next few days, lured by post-holiday sales, newly received gift cards and gifts that missed the mark.
More than four out of five (82 percent) of the more than 1,000 shoppers polled by Consumer Reports, the product-testing organization, said the biggest draw for them were the sales at retailers across the shopping spectrum. Nearly half (47 percent) were eager to redeem newly received gift cards and nearly a third (31 percent) told pollsters they would be hitting the stores to return gifts.
But a substantial number of Americans are shopped out and won't be wading into the retail-sales melee this week. Nearly half (46 percent) of shoppers asked by Consumer Reports said they won't be shopping because they just can't deal with any more crowds, 44 percent said they were simply tired of shopping and 20 percent confessed their wallets were finally tapped out.
From the poll results, it looks as though Americans still need some honing of their gift-giving sense—holiday returns this year will hit a record $46 billion, the National Retail Federation predicted. This year Americans estimate they will spend an hour, on average, returning gifts, with 20 percent estimating they will spend two-or-more hours.
Shoppers also need to brush up on their gift-return Ps and Qs. Just 42 percent of holiday shoppers include gift receipts with their purchases, and only a little more than half of adults take the time to investigate store (54 percent) or online retailer (56 percent) return policies.
"What our survey shows is that the vast majority of American who will be shopping this week are predictably looking for post-holiday blow-out sales," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports' senior editor. "And those who aren't shopping this week are predictably all shopped-out and low on money and patience."
Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.