Survey: 54% of shoppers will spend $500+ on holiday gifts

Los Angeles -- Research results released Monday by PriceGrabber – augmenting its previously released winter holiday shopping survey – revealed that more than half (54%) of consumers plan to spend $500 or more on gifts this season, slightly higher than 2011.

In a demonstration of online channel strength, 75% of respondents selected online retailers when asked to select the types of stores they plan to shop for holiday gifts. Discount stores followed with 74%, and traditional department stores came in third place with 49%.

Local independent retailers received 41% of the vote, 36% indicated electronic stores, 24% selected clothing stores, and 9% indicated they plan to shop at luxury department stores this holiday season.

“The start of the holiday shopping season has been very competitive with retailers vying for shoppers’ attention by offering aggressive promotions,” said Rojeh Avanesian, VP marketing and analytics of PriceGrabber. “We anticipate retailers will continue to offer very strong promotions and incentives in November and December to move products, increase consumer visits and boost sales.”

Clothing and gift cards continue to remain the top holiday gift choices again this year. When asked what items they plan to purchase as holiday gifts this season, 65% of consumers chose clothing, followed by the 49% who said gift cards; 41% who opted for books, CDs, DVDs or video games; and 40% choosing toys. Shoes and hobby-related items both received 29% of the vote. Twenty-eight percent opted for jewelry; 24% said food or candy; 21% selected sporting goods; and 17% indicated cosmetics, spa packages or beauty-related gifts.

The survey also showed that consumers eye post-Thanksgiving as the start of retail deals. When asked when they believe the best deals will be available for holiday shopping, 33% said after the Thanksgiving holiday (compared with 29% in 2011), 28% specifically indicated Black Friday, 23% said the month of December, and 16% said Cyber Monday.