AAA Alabama

November 10, 2009 10:00 ET

AAA Alabama Survey of State's Shoppers Reveals Most Plan to Cut Holiday Budgets, But Not Gift Recipients

BIRMINGHAM, AL--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Most Alabamans plan to maintain their holiday gift-giving lists at the same number of people this year despite the economic downturn, but most also plan to cut their gift budgets by seeking out discounts and less expensive presents, according to a new holiday spending poll conducted by the AAA Marketing Research Department.

The online survey also revealed that 35 percent of local holiday shoppers plan to spend less than $500 on gifts, and 67 percent plan to spend $1,000 or less.

Also, 36 percent of those surveyed said that this year they planned to change their usual shopping habits by clipping coupons and/or using a discount program such as AAA Discounts to save money on gifts.

"Our economic downturn has caused consumers to be more careful with their holiday gift shopping budgets by seeking out coupons and discounts such as those available through AAA membership," said AAA Alabama spokesman Clay Ingram. "This year, AAA's Show Your Card & Save program has added several new retailers that already provide discounted prices, such as the Gap Outlet stores and, allowing members to save even more when gift shopping."

Popular techniques for saving money this holiday shopping season, according to the holiday spending poll, are:

1) Finding less expensive gifts (38 percent)

2) Using store coupons and/or obtaining discounts through programs such as AAA Discounts (36 percent)

3) Doing more research to make sure of getting the best price (33 percent)

4) Ordering online to take advantage of free shipping for gifts that must be mailed (31 percent)

5) Shopping more at discount stores (31 percent)

6) Buying the same amount for the kids but cutting back on the amount spent on adults (18 percent)

Even though more than two-thirds of Alabamans in the AAA survey planned to do at least some holiday shopping online, the poll revealed that shoppers still plan to spend 59 percent of their gift budgets in retail stores.

The most popular holiday shopping destinations for Alabamans this year, according to the poll, will be discount stores (81 percent), followed by online retailers (71 percent), retail department stores (66 percent), shopping mall stores (59 percent), electronics stores (57 percent), membership stores (43 percent), home improvement stores (38 percent) and print catalogs (20 percent). Just nine percent of those surveyed planned to do at least some holiday shopping at a luxury brand or upscale department store.

The most popular items on gift-buyers' lists this year are gift cards/certificates (70 percent), followed by apparel and accessories (68 percent), books (59 percent), toys (54 percent), DVDs/videos (46 percent), consumer electronics (40 percent), video games (33 percent), music (31 percent), jewelry (27 percent), and computer hardware/software (16 percent).

"With the exception of gift cards, AAA members can take advantage of deep discounts on the most popular gift categories in this poll through AAA Discounts' participating businesses such as New York & Company, many outlet stores like Banana Republic and Reebok outlets, and online retailers through the AAA Discounts shopping link,, including, jewelers, DELL and," Ingram said.

More information about AAA discounts is available at or at any AAA Alabama branch.

Contact Information

    Clay Ingram
    (205) 978-7000 ext. 3223