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Press release from CNW Group

'Tis the Season of the Last Minute Shopper: the Scotiabank Holiday Spending Poll finds Canadians Hitting the Malls Later this Year

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

'Tis the Season of the Last Minute Shopper: the Scotiabank Holiday Spending Poll finds Canadians Hitting the Malls Later this Year07:00 EST Tuesday, December 18, 2012Shoppers say the hardest person to shop for on their gift list is their significant other. TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Not finished your holiday shopping yet? You aren't alone. According to the Scotiabank Holiday Shopping Poll, more Canadians are delaying their holiday shopping this year with fewer people shopping a month or two before December (36 per cent vs. 42 per cent in 2011) and more buying their gifts throughout the hustle and the bustle of the month of December (42 per cent vs. 34 per cent in 2011). A small, but brave group of last-minute shoppers are planning on leaving it until the last two days before the holiday (1 per cent).They may still be in the malls, but many Canadians have planned for their holiday expenses this year (66 per cent), with a quarter (23 per cent) planning well in advance. Women are more likely than men to plan for their holiday expenses well in advance (28 per cent vs. men at 19 per cent), while men are more likely to spend as needed (35 per cent vs. women at 28 per cent).As part of their festive strategy, over half of Canadians have saved enough to cover the cost of all the gifts they intend to buy, and this is significantly more people who have saved than last year (53 per cent vs. 45 per cent in 2011)."It is excellent news that the majority of Canadians are heading into the holidays with a plan," said Mike Henry, Senior Vice President of Retail Payments, Deposits and Lending, Scotiabank."This is a special time of year to appreciate the people that bring richness into your life. By mapping out a holiday budget, you can enjoy the season without worrying about the bills and put yourself in the best position possible heading into the New Year."Part of shoppers' plans for this holiday season is to rein in their spending. Canadians plan to spend $822 on holiday expenses overall, down from $1,021 in 2011 and at their lowest level since 2008. On gifts, Canadians plan on spending $578 compared to the $685 they spent in 2011."This festive season finds Canadians planning to spend less and save more over the holidays", says Aron Gampel, Deputy Chief Economist, Scotiabank. "Although the Canadian economy and job market have been quite resilient, many households appear to be focussed on managing their larger debt burdens, a prudent plan in an increasingly uncertain global environment."Atlantic Canadians ($1232) and Albertans ($1010) are planning on opening their wallets the most this holiday season, while those in British Columbia ($713) and Quebec ($630) are planning to be a bit more frugal in their celebratory spending.Average Spending Intentions Across Canada in 2012 Intended Holiday SpendingIntended Gift SpendingTotal$Atlantic$Quebec$Ont.$Man/Sask$Alberta$BC$Total$Atlantic$Quebec$Ont.$Man/Sask$Alberta$BC$82212326308498831010713578823475606663662439A problem Canadians share this holiday season is getting stumped on the last person on their list. The poll found that 31 per cent of Canadians say their spouse/partner/significant other is the hardest person to shop for on their list. Also difficult to pick out a gift for are their moms and dads (both at 11 per cent), their children (10 per cent), siblings (6 per cent) and in-laws (5 per cent).For Canadians struggling for gift ideas, many turn to their loved ones' wish lists (30 per cent) for most of their inspiration. Other sources for gift ideas include family (22 per cent), flyers (14 per cent) and websites (nine per cent).For those still planning on heading to the store, Scotiabank offers its top five tips to deck the halls without breaking the budget.1)     Create a budget and stick to it. Decide who you are buying for and how much you can realistically afford for each person. Going to the mall with a list in hand can help you not overspend on any one person on your list.2)     Get the most out of your shopping. When you are shopping this festive season, try to use a debit or credit card that also provides you with benefits like rewards points or a percentage of cash back. Scotiabank offers a great range of loyalty rewards cards, like the SCENE movie rewards cards and the Scotiabank Momentum VISA cards.3)     Keep track of your spending throughout the holidays. There are great ways to keep an eye on your spending, like online banking, mobile banking or InfoAlerts. If you know how much you've already spent on holiday expenses, it can help you see if you are veering toward going over-budget.4)    Be a creative gift giver. Handmadegifts are often the most memorable. Create personalized gifts or package up homemade treats for family and friends. You can also give the gift of your time. Shovelling your neighbour's driveway or taking your nieces and nephews ice skating can be a great alternative to a traditional present.5)    Build a Holiday Fund. For those looking to get a head start on saving for next year's festivities, consider creating a holiday saving fund. By committing to saving gradually all year, you can look forward to enjoying the holidays without putting a dent in your savings for your more long-term financial goals. Scotiabank offers a variety of easy ways to save, including the Bank the Rest program to help customers build savings year round with each purchase made with their debit card.About the polling dataThe Scotiabank Holiday Poll was conducted online using Harris/Decima's online panel. A total of 1,009 completed surveys were collected from a random sample of panel members across Canada. The study was conducted from November 16th through 27th, 2012.About Scotiabank Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 81,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. In December 2012, Scotiabank became the first Canadian bank to be named Global Bank of the Year and Bank of the Year in the Americas by The Banker magazine, a Financial Times publication. With assets of $668 billion (as at October 31, 2012), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit Holiday Shopping Facts:When they line up to the cash register, half of Canadians (51%) plan to pay for their holiday expenses with money they already have by using debit or cash (31 per cent with their debit card and 20 per cent with cash). The top three gifts to give are gift cards/gift certificates (47 per cent), clothing (43 per cent), and toys (38 per cent).The most popular gifts to buy for yourself this holiday season are electronics (27 per cent), clothing (16 per cent), trips or travel (15 percent), entertainment/food/beverage (five percent) and jewellery (five per cent).Women are more likely than men to do their holiday shopping gradually throughout the year (15 per cent vs. nine per cent of men).Men are more likely to do their shopping at the last minute - either the week before (eight per cent vs. three per cent of women) or a day or two before the holiday (three per cent of men vs. less than one per cent of women).Men are planning on spending significantly more this holiday season than women. Overall, men are planning on spending $905 compared to women spending $746. On gifts alone, men are planning on spending $629 and women are planning on $530.Albertans are the most likely to have saved to cover the cost of all their gifts (62 per cent), followed by residents in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (58 per cent), B.C. (53 per cent), Quebec and Ontario (both at 52 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (46 per cent).Most Canadians (62 per cent) feel the economy has had no impact on their holiday spending plans. Some Canadians (32 per cent) say they felt it had a negative impact on their plans. SOURCE: ScotiabankFor further information: Diana Hart P: 416-866-7238 E: