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ICSC survey says consumers will start holiday shopping early

Procrastinating is out this year when it comes to holiday shopping, with 62% of consumers surveyed planning to finish their gift buying on or before Dec. 16, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

As in most years, the top shopping day of the year is expected to be Black Friday. However, Cyber Monday will follow close behind across most demographic groups, overtaking Super Saturday as the second busiest holiday shopping day of the year.

The hottest gift category this year is expected to be toys and games followed closely by consumer electronics. Gifts receiving the most specific mentions include smart phones, tablets, game consoles, digital cameras and televisions.

Other key findings include:

  • 37% of women list "seasonal discounts" as their top motivating factor while only 20% cite "gift practicality." Men were more evenly divided between "seasonal discounts" (30%) and "gift practicality" (27%) as the driving factor influencing their holiday shopping.
  • Men are more likely to shop for consumer electronics this year while women intend to buy games and toys.
  • Respondents aged 18-34 are significantly more likely to shop for consumer electronics this holiday season than any other age group surveyed.
  • Approximately one-third of respondents from households with a combined annual income of $100,000 or more are expected to shop on Cyber Monday versus Black Friday. The opposite is true for respondents from households with a combined annual income of less than $35,000.
  • Respondents from lower income households are more driven to find the perfect gift for their loved ones this year, with 40% of respondents in the $35,000-and-under income category saying that "finding the perfect gift" is the factor most likely to influence their holiday shopping.