SOURCE: AAA Northern New England

AAA Northern New England

November 10, 2009 10:00 ET

AAA Northern New England Survey Reveals Most Plan to Cut Holiday Budgets, But Not Gift Recipients

PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Most Northern New England residents 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 of AAA members in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont also revealed that 46 percent of local holiday shoppers plan to spend less than $500 on gifts, and 77 percent plan to spend $1,000 or less.

Also, one-quarter 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.

"Because of the economy, New England residents are being more careful with their holiday gift shopping budgets by seeking out coupons and discounts such as those available through AAA membership," said AAA Northern New England spokesman Pat Moody. "The AAA Discounts 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) Ordering online to take advantage of free shipping for gifts that must be mailed (35 percent)

2) Doing more research to make sure of getting the best price (34 percent)

3) Finding less expensive gifts (33 percent)

4) Shopping more at discount stores (27 percent)

5) Using store coupons and/or obtaining discounts through programs such as AAA Discounts (25 percent)

6) Buying the same amount for the kids but cutting back on the amount spent on adults (19 percent)

Even though more than two-thirds of Northern New England residents in the AAA survey planned to do at least some holiday shopping online, the poll revealed that shoppers still plan to spend 50 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 (73 percent), followed by online retailers (70 percent), retail department stores (54 percent), shopping mall stores (51 percent), electronics stores (42 percent), home improvement stores (33 percent), membership stores (32 percent) and print catalogs (32 percent). Just five 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 apparel and accessories (71 percent), followed by gift cards (70 percent), books (64 percent), toys (45 percent), consumer electronics (32 percent), DVDs/videos (31 percent), music (31 percent), jewelry (25 percent), video games (23 percent), and sporting goods (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," Moody said.

More information about AAA discounts is available at or at any AAA Northern New England office.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Pat Moody
    (207) 780-6919