Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of American consumers will not complete their holiday shopping until the week before Christmas, according to a survey released today by Visa, the world’s largest consumer payment system. As a result, Visa is predicting that Visa retail volume will exceed $1.5 billion on December 23, historically Visa’s busiest shopping day of the year.
“Last-minute shoppers can make or break a retailer’s holiday season,” said Bruce McElhinney, senior vice president, market development and acceptance, Visa U.S.A. “Either people are too busy or they’re just waiting for sales, but our numbers indicate that consumers will be doing a lot of last minute spending. Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving is big, but this year, the day before Christmas Eve will be even bigger.”
Key findings of the survey:
* Almost half (46 percent) of last-minute shoppers will complete their holiday shopping on December 23 or December 24.
* Of those shopping at the last minute, the majority (56 percent) say they will do most of their shopping at that time.
* Last minute shoppers say they will do their shopping at department stores (58 percent); discount stores (22 percent); apparel stores (15 percent); toy stores (9 percent); and electronics stores (5 percent).
* Young adults aged 18-24 are likely to do most of their shopping at the last minute (78 percent), compared to those aged 25-54 (56 percent), and over 55 (34 percent).
* The majority of last-minute shoppers live in the Northeast (70 percent); compared to the South (64 percent); the West (62 percent); or North Central region (62 percent).
“Last-minute shoppers will drive Visa transaction volume to peak levels this year. We expect to process more than 25 million transactions on December 23 alone,” said Scott Thompson, executive vice president, Visa Systems Development Support and Customer Service. To put that into perspective, the New York Stock Exchange averages 5.5 million transactions on a single day.
A total of 1,010 men and women aged 18 and older were interviewed December 4-7, 1997 by Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey.
Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year, Visa’s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 380,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa’s Internet address isDetails