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Holiday survey: More than 40% of consumers will shop last-minute for gifts

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — Survey data from PriceGrabber, an Experian company, said that many consumers will continue to hit the stores through the final days leading up to Christmas.

Results from PriceGrabber’s fourth winter holiday shopping survey found that 41% of consumers plan to shop between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24 for holiday gifts.

When those last-minute shoppers were asked to select all of the reasons why, 43% said that they believe the best discounts can be found during this time period. Another 43% indicated that they are busy and unable to finish their shopping earlier, 26% admitted to procrastinating, 22% believe it is fun to do last-minute shopping, and 10% are waiting for a year-end work bonus to begin shopping.

"After observing the increase in activity and sales of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping season this year, we expect to see a significant percentage of consumers seeking to prompt retailers to offer additional savings throughout December," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. "Savvy shoppers saw retailers rolling out discounts as early as the week before Thanksgiving this year, and they are staying on top of last-minute incentives that are certainly on the horizon in the coming weeks."

When asked what type of gifts they plan to purchase at the last minute, 53% said they intend to purchase both big- and small-ticket items, 31% will buy only small-ticket items (under $100); 10% will purchase all of the holidays gifts on their list, and 6% will buy only big-ticket items (over $100).

While most consumers plan to complete their holiday shopping before Dec. 25, PriceGrabber’s survey found that 9% will wait until January to purchase holiday gifts. Men and women differed in their plans, with 11% of men saying they will wait until January to buy gifts and only 8% of women planning to do so.

When those consumers who will delay their holiday shopping until January were asked to select all of the reasons why, 68% said that they believe sale prices are best in January, 27% plan to use gift money received during the holiday period, 24% simply prefer shopping in January, and 11% plan to wait for a year-end work bonus to make purchases.

According to PriceGrabber’s survey, a notable percentage of shoppers are turning to daily deal sites for great last-minute prices, with 27% indicating that they plan to shop for last-minute gifts on sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial.

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Report: Tesco postpones opening wholesale stores in India

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Mumbai, India — A Monday report by Reuters said that the world’s third-largest retailer Tesco Plc has delayed its plans to set up wholesale stores in India, as it faces mountains of political red tape and controversy in the country.

Reuters, citing a report in the Business Standard newspaper, said that the supermarket giant will instead focus on setting up warehouses and back-end infrastructure.

Earlier in December, India suspended plans to open its $450 billion supermarket sector to foreign firms, backtracking from one of the government’s boldest reforms in years in the face of a huge political backlash.

Other retailers such as Walmart, Carrefour and Germany’s Metro have been progressing ahead with their wholesale operations in the country, according to the report.

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Walmart launches ’12 Days of Giving’ Facebook campaign

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Monday that it has kicked off its "12 Days of Giving" campaign, awarding over $1.5 million to nonprofits that were nominated by Facebook users. By the end of the campaign, 145 grant recipients in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, will be honored. Twenty-five nonprofits that have stepped up to fight hunger are receiving a total of $130,000 on the first day of giving.

Walmart’s 12-day call for submissions resulted in more than 5,400 nominations from Facebook users who shared photos and short descriptions of a nonprofit’s impact in its local community. A panel from the Walmart Foundation reviewed submissions and selected winners with a focus on organizations that are providing basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and baby supplies.

"The response to our campaign was incredible – the organizations selected and the extraordinary people behind them are rising to the occasion, using their time and talents to make an impact in their local communities," said Julie Gehrki, senior director at the Walmart Foundation. "The selected nonprofits reflect some of the most pressing issues facing our country today.”

In total, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are providing more than $19 million in grants this holiday season.

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