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By Lisa Baertlein
Dec 19 For many U.S. men, it is all-or-nothing
time for holiday shopping. Either they have already done all
their shopping, or they have completed none of it, a
Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.
Eighteen percent of all respondents said they had done no
holiday shopping, unchanged from a survey the previous week. But
more of the men were shopping laggards: 20.6 percent of them
compared with 15.6 percent of women said they still had bought
At the same time, men also were more likely than women to
say that they had finished all of their holiday shopping - 29.5
percent versus 25.60 percent for women, according to the poll,
which was conducted from Friday to Monday.
"Men tend to keep their list smaller and concise, as wives
already took care of the majority of gifts," said Jharonne
Martis, director of consumer research for Thomson Reuters.
"Every year, on the Super Saturday weekend before Christmas,
I see men hit the malls, shopping last-minute, and asking other
women around them what they think of what they're buying,"
FEWER MEALS OUT
Slightly more than half of the shoppers, 52 percent, said
they planned to spend the same this year as last year. Sixteen
percent said they would spend more, and 21 percent said they
would spend less.
While 41 percent of shoppers said they planned to purchase
gifts from a mix of stores, frugality ruled when it came to
selecting a single retail category.
Discounters came out on top, with 32 percent of respondents
saying they planned to do most of their shopping at chains such
as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp.
Such caution appears to extend to dining out. A whopping 70
percent of respondents disagreed when asked if they would be
doing so more than usual this holiday season.
Forty-four percent of people in that group said they were
cutting back on restaurant meals during the holiday season so
they can afford gifts.
"Younger people are also far more likely than older people
to say they are cutting back on eating out in order to afford to
spend on gifts," said Julia Clark, vice president of Ipsos
Sixty percent of 18-to-24-year-olds said they were cutting
back on restaurant spending so they could buy gifts versus 34
percent of respondents over the age of 55, Clark said.
U.S. restaurants had a booming December last year due to
unseasonably warm weather, so achieving gains in sales at
established locations will be a challenge this month.
"Still, the timing of the Christmas holiday should benefit
sales this year as it moves to a Tuesday from a Sunday and
Christmas Eve transitions to a Monday from a Saturday," William
Blair analyst Sharon Zackfia said.
In a tradition-breaking move, McDonald's Corp has
urged its U.S. restaurant owners to stay open on Christmas Day -
a move aimed at bolstering sales at the world's biggest
hamburger chain, which is under increased pressure from
revitalized rivals like Wendy's Co and Burger King
The findings are from an Ipsos poll conducted for Thomson
Reuters, with 1,469 American adults interviewed online.
Results are within the poll's credibility intervals, a tool
used to account for statistical variation in Internet-based
polling. The credibility interval was plus or minus 2.9
The poll is the latest in a series that Ipsos will conduct
during the holiday season.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Jan
Paschal and Lisa Von Ahn)