Wal-Mart on Wednesday released a survey that says its shoppers tend to procrastinate on holiday shopping, while Kohl’s revealed that, starting at 6 a.m. on Dec. 19 through 6 p.m. on Dec. 24, its stores will remain open 24/7, encouraging consumers to finish their gift buying before Christmas.
Wal-Mart customers go down to the wire, according to a survey of 2,200 customers conducted at the firm’s stores on Dec. 13. More than a third said they plan to shop for last-minute gifts on Super Saturday, Dec. 23, the last Saturday before Christmas.
Kohl’s will keep its doors open for more than 100 hours straight, describing the event as “a sale so big, we’re open non-stop.” A handful of locations will have different hours. “We welcome last-minute shoppers to visit our stores when it’s most convenient for them, day or night, in the hope Kohl’s helps ease holiday stress,” said Michelle Glass, chief customer officer.
Kohl’s Corp. posted declines in net income and net sales in the third quarter, and comparable-store sales fell 1.8 percent on top of a 1.6 percent decrease a year ago. Kevin Mansell, president and chief executive officer, said in November that comps will be in the 2 to 3 percent range in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, in the third quarter, Wal-Mart saw its first positive U.S. comps in seven quarters — a 0.5 percent increase — but the retailer remained cautious about the holiday.
“Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a trend in customers waiting until the last minute to finish their shopping,” said Scott McCall, senior vice president of merchandising for Wal-Mart U.S. “While many customers start their Christmas shopping in November, the majority don’t put their lists away until Dec. 24.”
Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart consumers listed procrastination as the top excuse for last-minute shopping. Sioux City, Iowa, tops the list of cities with the highest percentage of last-minute shoppers, followed by Indianapolis (34 percent), Albuquerque, N.M. (33 percent), San Antonio (31 percent) and Fayetteville, N.C. (23 percent), according to Wal-Mart.
Nationwide, 42 percent of customers said they will do the majority of their holiday shopping in December, while 36 percent said they will shop on Super Saturday.
Las Vegas has the highest percentage of Super Saturday shoppers (76 percent), followed by Phoenix (62 percent), Kansas City, Mo. (62 percent), Columbus, Ohio (62 percent) and Houston (59 percent).
All that late shopping means Wal-Mart will be receiving shipments of toys, electronics and home goods — top holiday gift categories — from vendors through Dec. 24. Wal-Mart said it’s positioning popular gifts near the front of stores to help shoppers get in and out quickly.
Top last-minute purchases include toys and electronics (23 percent), groceries (22 percent), stocking stuffers (21 percent), holiday party items (17 percent) and alcohol (17 percent).
Must-have products for the holiday season included “Frozen”-related items, Lego, PlayStation 4 and XBox.
Wal-Mart shoppers said spouses are the most difficult to shop for (28 percent), followed by children (26 percent), extended family (26 percent) and friends or coworkers (19 percent).
The survey was conducted as shoppers waited in line to take pictures with Santa, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Survey respondents were between the ages of 18 and 65; 59 percent were female, and 41 percent were male.