CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Research shows Christmas shoppers in the Charlotte area are relaxed about Christmas shopping and are both generous and joyful. The vast majority completed shopping earlier and spent as much or more than last year – great news for retailers.
Voccii, Charlotte's leading research and market strategy firm, this week surveyed more than 130 area consumers on their Christmas shopping habits. Voccii found trends reflect what one might expect of a Southern city.
In getting started with shopping and getting done with shopping, Voccii found a whopping 72% of local residents started their shopping well before the first weekend of December this year. 12% started earlier than September. More than 60% shopped before the start of December. Fewer than 1% said they start shopping the week of Christmas. Only 3.8% stretch it out and finish on Christmas Eve itself. As of yesterday, 73% said their shopping is all finished.
"I think Charlotteans have their act together well ahead of Christmas, so they can enjoy their time with family and friends," said Voccii Principal and Research Director, Gayle Ireland, herself an area native. "I think this reflects on our values – we really do want to focus on our family, which is the real gift of Christmas."
Area shoppers further reduce stress by paying cash for gifts. Nearly 50% paid with cash/debit card; 23% paid with a mix of cash and credit card. 26% use credit cards alone.
Charlotte shoppers are generous. Nearly 83% say they will spend the same or more on gifts than they did in 2015. Residents are happy givers. More than 75% said they are quite joyful about their holiday gift giving, although 10% said they were very or somewhat stressed about it.
Locals also apparently really love their pets. 63% of pet owners plan on buying gifts their pets. Surprisingly, nearly 25% of those surveyed say they will buy a gift for a friend's pet.
Shoppers have fond memories of Christmas's past, as they recalled the most memorable present they ever received. Tops on the list – jewelry. 22% of respondents said they remember this type of gift, with many mentions of diamond rings. The next most memorable gifts were dolls/dollhouses at 7%, followed simply by family memories, at 5.4%. Last on the list of memorable items? Technology gifts.