SOURCE: AAA Missouri

AAA Missouri

November 10, 2009 10:00 ET

AAA Missouri Survey of Local Shoppers Reveals Most Plan to Cut Holiday Budgets, But Not Gift Recipients

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Most local shoppers 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 Missouri Marketing Research Department.

The online survey of 400 members of AAA Missouri, which includes residents of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, also revealed that 43 percent of local holiday shoppers plan to spend less than $500 on gifts, and 78 percent plan to spend $1,000 or less.

Also, 29 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.

"The economic downturn is leading local consumers to be more careful with their holiday gift shopping budgets by planning to use coupons and discounts such as those available through AAA membership," said Mike Right, senior vice president of public affairs for AAA Missouri. "AAA's Show Your Card and Save program has added several new retailers this year 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 (36 percent)

2) Doing more research to make sure of getting the best price (35 percent)

3) Ordering online to take advantage of free shipping for gifts that must be mailed (32 percent)

4) Using store coupons and/or obtaining discounts through programs such as AAA Discounts (29 percent)

5) Shopping more at discount stores (29 percent)

6) Buying the same amount for the kids but cutting back on the amount spent on adults (15 percent)

Even though nearly two-thirds of those in the AAA Missouri survey planned to do at least some holiday shopping online, the poll revealed that shoppers still plan to spend 57 percent of their gift budgets in retail stores.

The most popular holiday shopping destinations for local consumers this year, according to the poll, will be discount stores (82 percent), followed by retail department stores (65 percent), online retailers (64 percent), shopping mall stores (54 percent), electronics stores (50 percent), membership stores (43 percent) and home improvement stores (27 percent). Just six 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 both gift cards and apparel/ accessories (both 68 percent), followed by books (54 percent), toys (50 percent), DVDs/videos (45 percent), consumer electronics (41 percent), video games (33 percent), music (27 percent), jewelry (24 percent), and computer hardware/software (22 percent).

"With the exception of gift cards, AAA members can take advantage of deep discounts on all the most popular gift categories 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," Right said.

More information about AAA discounts is available at or at any AAA Missouri office.

Contact Information

    Mike Right
    (314) 523-7350 x6300