December 09, 2009

Holiday Shoppers Plan To Spend Nearly 15% Less This Year, According To Discover® Card Holiday Shopping Survey

Almost Two-Thirds Express Concern about Finances, But Nearly 80 Percent Say Spending Less Won't Put a Damper on Their Holiday Spirit
RIVERWOODS, Ill., Dec 09, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Please replace the release with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions.

The corrected release reads:


Almost Two-Thirds Express Concern about Finances, But Nearly 80 Percent Say Spending Less Won't Put a Damper on Their Holiday Spirit

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) today released its annual Holiday Shopping Survey, which assesses consumer spending trends and gift intentions for the 2009 holiday season. This year, shoppers plan to spend 13 percent less on holiday gifts compared to last year. Forty-eight percent of shoppers who plan to spend less said the economy was very influential on their decision to cut back on holiday spending this season. But of those spending less, nearly 80 percent say it will not put a damper on their holiday spirit.

Key survey findings include:

  • On average, shoppers plan to spend $723 on holiday gifts, compared to $831 in last year's survey and $896 in the 2007 survey. Women plan to spend more than men - $742 versus $702, respectively.
  • Forty-seven percent of shoppers plan to spend between $100 and $500 this holiday season while a quarter (25 percent) anticipate spending anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
  • Forty-three percent of shoppers plan to spend less this holiday season. Of this group, 48 percent say that the economy was very influential in their decision to do so.
  • As the holidays approach, 63 percent of shoppers say they are very concerned, concerned or somewhat concerned about their finances. This is down from 74 percent who said the same last year.
  • Sixty-six percent say they plan to stay within their holiday shopping budget. This is down slightly from the 72 percent who said they would do so last year.

Holiday Shoppers Seek Deep Sales, Incentives and Less Expensive Brands; Credit Card Rewards Likely To Spur Purchases

Shoppers planning to spend less this holiday season will use several strategies to save money. Looking for sales is among the most popular - 62 percent say that they will limit purchases to items that have deep sales, such as 25 percent off.

Fifty-seven percent say they will purchase less expensive brands while an equal percentage will seek out special shopping incentives such as free shipping.

Thirty-five percent say they will wait to shop in order to take advantage of last minute deals. Thirty-four percent say they will reduce the number of people they normally buy for, and 17 percent will "regift."

Nearly one in five shoppers (18 percent) reported that extra credit card rewards would motivate them in making a holiday purchase.

"Finding the perfect gift is never easy, and this year shoppers will be looking for ones that also fit within their budgets," said Ryan Garton, director of customer insights for Discover Financial Services.

Popular Gifts This Holiday Season

Discover card's Holiday Shopping survey also highlights popular gifts and spending categories, and similar to in years past, what people want to receive this holiday season is not always consistent with what others plan to buy. Toys top the list for what shoppers plan to buy, while home entertainment items, such as music, books, DVDs and consumer electronics, rank high for what people would like to receive this year.



21% Toys 22% CDs/books/DVDs or video games
20% Consumer electronics 19% Consumer electronics
19% Apparel 17% Apparel
15% CDs/books/DVDs or video games 13% Home items
9% Home items 8% Travel
3% Travel 6% Jewelry
2% Jewelry 2% Toys

"Holiday shoppers looking for extra savings this year can take advantage of cash rewards from Discover," said Garton. "Cardmembers can receive double Cashback Bonus on purchases made on their Discover card anywhere online or at department, clothing, shoe or jewelry stores. They can also receive additional Cashback Bonus at over 150 retailers through ShopDiscover, our exclusive online shopping mall."

About the Discover Card Holiday Shopping Survey

Discover Card's Holiday Shopping Survey was conducted by telephone with a total of 1,008 nationally representative adults (504 males and 504 females). The research was conducted from November 12-15, 2009 by Opinion Research Corporation.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a leading credit card issuer and electronic payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers student and personal loans, as well as savings products such as certificates of deposit and money market accounts. Its payments businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Discover Financial Services

Mai-Lee Ua
(224) 405-3082