XmasShop1 Photo: VideoBlocks

Last-minute shopping could boost freight demand

NRF survey finds over half of U.S. adults still are not finished with Christmas shopping.

Shopping for Christmas gifts is going to finish late this year, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey – which could translate into more freight demand as the holiday season winds to a close.

E-commerce shipments could especially increase as 51% of last-minute shoppers planned to purchase their gifts online, the trade group noted.

“Even though many consumers got a head start with holiday shopping early in the season, millions more are leaving their gift buying to the last minute and beyond,” noted Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Stores will be packed the next few days as consumers rush to complete their shopping, and anybody ordering online at this point should probably choose in-store pickup as their delivery option.”

NRF’s survey – conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, which polled 7,212 U.S. adults – found that only 12% of consumers had finished their holiday shopping as of December 12, saying they’d completed an average of only 61% of their total shopping.

A total of 55% expected to be done purchasing gifts by December 20, according to the survey, with 6% saying they will still be shopping Christmas Eve and 5% saying their final gifts won’t be bought until after Christmas.

NRF also found that 53% of consumers — about 126 million people — plan to shop this weekend on “Super Saturday,” the last Saturday before Christmas.

As of December 12, last-minute shoppers planned to purchase their gifts online (51%), at department stores (41%), discount stores (26%), clothing or accessories stores (21%), electronics stores (18%), local/small businesses (14%) and grocery/supermarket stores (14%).

“Similar to what we saw over Thanksgiving weekend, consumers are leveraging their smartphones to guide them on their final purchases for the holidays,” added Phil Rist, Prosper’s executive vice president of strategy. “Retailers this year have needed to offer great deals online and encourage young people making purchases through their smartphones to take advantage of offerings such as buy online and pick up in store.”

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