50% of holiday shopping still to come

As of Dec. 10, U.S. consumers had finished 52.9 percent of their holiday shopping, up just slightly from 49.9 percent last year, according to the National Retail Federation's latest Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. What's the holdup? Most shoppers are still trying to decide what gifts to get (46.8 percent).

"This year we witnessed 'a tale of two holiday shoppers' with many jumping on retailers' early, hard-to-pass-up in-store and online promotions, and others waiting until the last minute to wrap up their lists," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "In the final stretch, retailers will continue to look for creative ways to attract those with shopping left to do by offering exclusive Super Saturday promotions, extending their in-store holiday hours and promoting deals on expedited shipping. We are optimistic the holiday season will end on a high note for retailers."

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, store traffic dropped 5.2 percent from 2013, and the total number of same shopper trips was also down to 233.3 million shoppers from 248.6 million last year. Consumers still had a long way to go to completing their gift lists.

Reasons for not completing holiday shopping include waiting for input from family and friends, 28.4 percent; other financial priorities, 21.7 percent; and 23.4 percent are still waiting for the best possible deals.

Almost half, 49.1 percent, of consumers will finish their holiday shopping online; 44.3 percent will shop at department stores; 30.1 percent will head to discount stores; 22 percent will visit clothing stores and 19.3 percent will shop at electronics stores.

Young adults, ages 18 to 24 years old, are taking advantage of price matching more than their older counterparts, 27.9 percent versus 18 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds and 21.8 percent of 15- to 34-year-olds.

As of November, retail sales were up 0.6 percent over the same month last year. The gain was on track with the NRF's holiday sales forecast predictions, which anticipate a 4.1 percent total increase over the season in 2013.

For more:

-See this NRF press release

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