Holiday Shopping Interview with WLW Radio Cincinnati

By Media Relations Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 with Scott Sloan of WLW Radio Cincinnati about the September 2015 Holiday Shopping survey. The interview and transcript are below.


Scott Sloan: You wanna know why the Christmas stuff is out already? You wanna know why I make my weekly visit to Costco to buy stuff I don’t need and five gallon buckets of mayonnaise, that the Christmas crap is already out? The answer from Matt Schulz, senior analyst with Matt, hi.

Matt Schulz: Hi, how ya doing?

Sloan: I’m doing good. How many million Americans have started their Christmas shopping now by this middle of September? Let’s say the month of September, how many millions, how many people?

Schulz: Amazingly enough about 32 million American adults say – and we did the survey over Labor Day weekend – so about 32 million said they had already begun their holiday shopping then.

Sloan: Interestingly enough, out of the 32 million, only 6 of them are men.

Schulz: It’s interesting, it did kind of breakdown in some interesting ways. The one thing that won’t surprise anybody necessarily is that parents are about twice as likely to have already started. And as a parent I can tell you that there’s a lot of work that goes on in that area.

Sloan: Yeah I know, and I get that. Matter of fact, Amy Murray was here and said, “Well, honestly I bought one thing already because my kids are into Legos” and they got this one that’s, I don’t know, something, and they’re out of it by November. I mean I get that. If there is something you have access to and it’s limited and you have a chance to get it, sure. I don’t know if I’d consider that – when I think Christmas shopping, I think, ya know, get the list out and checking everyone off.

Schulz: Yeah, and it really can work both ways. I know that sometimes when I travel with my family, if you go to an interesting place you might find some unique thing and pick it up for a Christmas gift in the future, and that would really I guess count. But you’re right – most of the time we’re talking about making a list and actually full-on and shopping.

Sloan: What are the demographics financially? Typically do we see lower income people doing the shopping early to get advantage of the bargain? I would suspect that to be true.

Schulz: Yeah, and that’s actually a really good thing. The less money that you make, the more likely you are to try and finish your shopping early. Because we saw that about 30% of folks who make $30,000 or less a year said that they were going to aim to finish their holiday shopping by December 1st. And that’s really good because it allows you to take advantage of things like layaway, which can help you avoid credit card debt. And also it just make it less pressurized so you have more time to look for good deals and save some money.

Sloan: Is this pretty much brick and mortar people that have already started their Christmas shopping or is this online as well?

Schulz: Both have definitely done it, but online shoppers are a little more likely to have already started. A little less than one in five folks who are going to do most of their shopping online say that they’ve started.

Sloan: So there’s always time to do that. But as I recall the best bargains are usually at the last minute, aren’t they?

Schulz: It’s funny, we’ve seen deals throughout the year like Amazon’s Prime Day and then the Star Wars day that just happened a little while ago where they had a big push with a lot of toys from the new movie coming out. So it can really kind of spread out.

Sloan: Again, it’s Matt Schulz. He’s an analyst with 32 million people have already begun holiday shopping. That is 32 million people who need to be locked up or medicated, in my opinion.

Schulz: Well, there’s certainly a lot of them.

Sloan: Yeah, no kidding. Matt, thanks again. Have a good day.

Schulz: Yeah, you too.

Sloan: Good information there, too. And now you know why all the Christmas stuff is out because there’s 32 million people out there already doing their Christmas shopping.

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