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Posted: Thursday, November 15th 2012 at 11:45am

AAA: Holiday shoppers plan to spend more on gifts this year

By Staff
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TAMPA, Fla. – Holiday shoppers in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are getting an early start this year and are ready to spend more money on gifts. More than half of holiday shoppers (51%) have already started buying gifts, compared to 46 percent this time last year, according to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse Holiday Shopping survey. Click here to view full survey and year-over-year comparisons from 2009 to 2012.

While the majority of consumers (62%) plan to spend the same amount of money on presents as last year, 14 percent of them plan to spend more money, a 40 percent increase from 2011. More than half of holiday shoppers (57%) plan to spend between $251 and $1,000 on gifts, while one in four (23%) plan to spend up to $250, according to the survey.

Although consumers plan to spend more money this year, more than two in five shoppers (43%) plan to buy more gifts on sale. Nearly three in four will shop at discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target (73%), or plan to shop on the internet at sites like eBay and Amazon.com (72%).

People plan to forgo crowded stores this year as well, with more than half of consumers (58%) planning to shop during Cyber Monday. Meanwhile, there’s a 10 percent decline in people who plan to shop on Black Friday for a total of 46 percent of shoppers.

“In this uncertain economic environment, it’s encouraging to see that more people intend to spend more money on gifts,” said Belinda Dabrowski, managing director, AAA Partnership Development, The Auto Club Group. “But, people are still looking for sales and ways to stretch their dollar and all it takes is a little bit of research and knowing what means of savings are already at your fingertips.

The AAA Consumer Pulse Survey was conducted online among residents living in the Southern Region of The Auto Club Group (Florida, Georgia and Tennessee) from October 25 – 27, 2012. A total of 629 residents completed the survey, with 584 planning to purchase gifts during the 2012 holiday season. AAA sats overall survey responses are weighted by gender and age within state to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

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