November 20, 2006

Holiday Shoppers Ready To Open Their Wallets; Majority Prepared To Spend Up To $500 This Holiday Season According To Discover® Card Holiday Shopping Survey

Riverwoods, IL, November 20, 2006 – Discover® Card today released its inaugural Holiday Shopping Survey, assessing consumers' spending trends and patterns for the 2006 holiday season. The findings show that a majority of shoppers plan to spend up to $500 this holiday season and one in four intends to spend from $500 to $1,000.

The survey revealed that shoppers have robust plans to make their money go further this holiday season by finding different ways to save money, including actively looking for sales on wanted items, shopping throughout the year, and setting a budget in advance. Shoppers are feeling confident that they can buy the gifts they want and stay within their holiday budget this year.

Key survey findings include:
  • Over half (55 percent) of consumers plan to spend up to $500 on gifts with more than a quarter (27 percent) planning to spend from $500 to $1,000.

  • Over half of respondents (54 percent) actively look for sales and other incentives to make their money go further while sticking to a holiday budget. Consumers find multiple approaches helpful in meeting their budget: allocate a specific dollar amount for everyone on their list (48 percent), spread out holiday purchases throughout the year (42 percent) or set a total budget in advance (42 percent).

  • Ninety-one percent of shoppers are confident that they can stay within their expected budget.
"The Discover Card Holiday Shopping Survey focuses on defining important spending patterns and choices consumers are making during the busiest shopping period of the year, while providing valuable insight to merchants and shoppers,” said Margo Georgiadis, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Financial Services. “We found consumers are confident in spending this holiday season, and using smart planning to give great gifts while sticking to a holiday budget that works for them.”

Shoppers Plan on Spending the Most Money on Electronics, Apparel

Discover Card's Holiday Shopping survey also revealed popular spending categories this year:
  • Electronics (25 percent) and apparel (23 percent) are the top places consumers plan to spend the most money this holiday season.

  • Home and entertainment items are next in line, with 15 percent planning to spend the most money on home items, and 13 percent planning to spend on entertainment such as movies and restaurants.

  • Only six percent plan to spend the most money on travel and only five percent plan to spend on jewelry.
Department Stores and Malls Reign Supreme, but a Third Prefer Shopping Online

While brick continues to wins out over click, nearly a third of consumers plan to make the web their top destination for 24/7 holiday shopping.
  • Sixty percent of respondents plan to shop in a department store while 51 percent said the mall.

  • Thirty-one percent of all respondents will buy at least one holiday gift online. While most online shoppers (78 percent) prefer the web because it's open around the-clock, 52 percent turn to the keyboard to avoid lines, and almost half (48 percent) specifically seek out online sales and promotions.
“Regardless of what they buy and where they shop, Discover Card helps Cardmembers make their money go further this holiday,” said Georgiadis. “Cardmembers can enjoy multiple opportunities to earn cash rewards, including 5% Cashback Bonus® on restaurants, movies, books and music through our popular Get More program, instant $20 gift cards when they spend $200 on their Discover Card at 80 participating malls across the country, and 5%-20% Cashback Bonus when they spend at top online retailers on our new shopping portal, ShopDiscover.”

Some Manage Their Money Better Than Others

Discover Card's survey also revealed young shoppers may need some budgeting advice from their older peers.
  • Eighteen-to-24-year-olds are the most likely to bust their budgets: more than one-quarter of these shoppers (27 percent) say they usually spend more than they can afford when shopping for holiday gifts for family and friends.

  • Furthermore, 18 to 24 year olds are more likely than any other age group to spend first, worry later, at 13 percent.
About the Discover Card Holiday Shopping Survey
For Discover Card's Holiday Shopping Survey, a telephone survey was conducted with a total of 1,053 nationally representative adults (531 males and 522 females). The research was conducted from October 20-23, 2006 by Opinion Research Corporation.

About Discover Financial Services LLC

Discover Financial Services LLC, a business unit of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million Cardmembers, and the Discover Network with more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations. Discover Financial Services also operates the PULSE ATM/debit network, which serves over 4,200 financial institutions and includes almost 250,000 ATMs and approximately 3.4 million POS terminals. For more information, visit, or

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