Survey: Last-Minute, Religious Holiday Shoppers

With less than a week before Christmas, many consumers have yet to even start their Holiday shopping, a recent survey found.

The National Retail Federation found that 10.8 percent of consumers have completely finished their holiday shopping while 15.4 percent admit they haven't even started.

According to NRF's 2006 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, the average person has completed 53.1 percent of his or her shopping so far. And men are more likely to end up shopping last-minute with 17.8 percent stating they have not begun their holiday shopping, compared to 13.1 percent of women.

"With Christmas falling on a Monday this year, retailers have one more weekend to bring in those holiday procrastinators,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin, in the report. “In the predictably chaotic days before Christmas, retailers will be ready and waiting for the final rush of the season.”

Almost half of shoppers stated they would head to a department store this week to finish their shopping; one-third said they will shop online and head to specialty stores, and 39 percent will head to discounters to finish their shopping lists, a large drop from the 70.3 percent of consumers who planned to shop at discounters earlier this holiday season.

While consumers finish buying their last gifts, an earlier Gallup Poll found that religious Americans may spend less than other Americans. People who seldom or never attend a place of worship said they will spend an estimated average of $853 on gifts this year, compared with roughly $800 for those who worship either weekly or nearly weekly.

Still, the Christian retail industry has continued to grow with experts predicting Christian books, trinkets and decor will grow to $9.5 billion by 2010.

Overall, spending is high. Gallup reported the mean estimated expenditure for all Americans to be $826, which is Gallup's highest early-November reading since 2000.