SOURCE: NearbyNow

November 19, 2008 08:00 ET

Consumers Will Do Last Minute Shopping This Season, but What Will They Find?

Survey From NearbyNow Shows Most Shoppers Will Wait Until the Week Before the Holiday, and Many Avoid Online Shopping

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - November 19, 2008) - A recent survey by NearbyNow shows that 44% of shoppers are not planning to complete their holiday season shopping until one week before the holiday, and that many will hit the stores rather than buy online. However, store inventory is expected to be at all-time lows this holiday season as struggling retailers cut their costs. Will this present an empty-handed dilemma for shoppers this season? Not if shoppers use NearbyNow, an online service that finds local stores that carry the product you want, and even put items on reserve for you to pick up.

The survey was performed in October 2008, to ask shoppers across the U.S. how they planned on doing their shopping this holiday season. Some of the results included:

--  44% will not complete their holiday shopping until the week before the
    holidays. 22% find themselves shopping the day before.
--  39% will do most of their shopping in stores, while 29% do most of
    their shopping online (the rest do an even mix of both). Perfume, shoes,
    and jewelry were cited as the items most would not consider buying online.
--  85% will spend more than an hour driving from store to store, while
    23% will spend more than four hours to find the perfect gift.
--  Most say that "parents" and "work associates" are the worst buyers of
    gifts for them, while "parents" and "spouses/significant others" are the
    most difficult to buy for.
--  "Cost of shipping" and "unsure of quality of merchandise" are the
    biggest turn offs for online shopping, 14% said they had been a victim of
    online fraud in the past.
    

Due to the economic climate in the retail community, inventory levels are expected to be lower than ever. This poses a unique challenge to last minute shoppers. By the time they get to the stores, what will be left?

"On average, store inventory levels have been the lowest we have seen in years," said Scott Dunlap, CEO of NearbyNow, Inc. "The odds of finding a product in the size and color you want is about half of what it was in 2007. This is particularly the case for this year's hot items like the Nintendo Wii Fit and Elmo Live."

NearbyNow's unique service can help solve this potential disaster. On NearbyNow.com, shoppers can search stores in their neighborhood for brands and products, and even put items on hold with a single click. The NearbyNow Concierge Team will make all the necessary phone calls to find out if products are in stock, and reply via e-mail or text in 10 minutes or less with a claim check to let the shopper know where to go and who to ask for to pick up the item. Along with the claim check, shoppers may even get special offers from stores to receive further discounts.

"Saving time and money is very important this season, and the first step is to make sure you aren't wasting time and gas going from store to store," said Dunlap. "With NearbyNow, you get the best of both worlds -- the simplicity of searching on the Internet for just the right item, and the immediacy of picking it up right away and knowing the product is of good quality. It can make last minute shopping significantly less stressful."

About NearbyNow, Inc.

NearbyNow, Inc. provides a unique online service that allows consumers to search all products, brands, and sales currently available in local shopping areas near them using the Internet or mobile phones. Shoppers can even put items on hold to pick up with a single click, ensuring that items will be available in the needed size and color. The company also creates an efficient marketing tool for retailers to target nearby consumers, helping increase sales by turning online shoppers into in-store buyers. NearbyNow is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. Additional information can be obtained by phone at (650) 967-0940 or via the Web at www.nearbynow.com.

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