According to the TD First Class Travel Visa Holiday Shopping survey many
Canadians put off buying until the last minute because they are busy, don't
know what to buy, and are just overwhelmed

    
    - 11% put off shopping because they are lazy
    - 6% of last minute shoppers call themselves Grinches
    - 15% are procrastinators
    - 14% are looking for bargains

    - Only 40% of Canadians say they like the gifts they receive. TD Canada
               Trust offers tips to help last minute shoppers.
    

TORONTO, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - Canadians may be struggling to complete their holiday shopping this year, but many admit that this is the norm because they often put off their holiday shopping. According to the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card Holiday Survey there are many reasons (some more surprising than others) why Canadians delay their holiday spending. For instance, 38% say they delay their shopping because they are too busy and 11% say it's because they are lazy. And surprisingly some Canadians (6%) call themselves a full-fledged "Grinch" -- and prefer to avoid holiday shopping altogether.

Other reasons Canadians put off their holiday shopping include not knowing what to buy (36%), procrastination (15%), a preference for last minute deals (14%), and for some, a feeling of being overwhelmed by the entire holiday shopping experience (13%).

"Our survey found that 12% of Canadians actually planned to wait until the very last minute before starting their holiday shopping this year," says Stacie Pearson, Associate Vice President, TD Credit Cards. "Whatever the reason for waiting, a few simple tips can help even last minute shoppers find something special for everyone on their list."

Pearson recommends these tips to maximize the last few days of holiday shopping:

    
    1. Shop online. Many online retailers offer 1 or 2-day delivery, so you
       still have time to shop online and have those gifts in your hands
       before it is too late. If you are a TD Visa cardholder, visit
       www.tdcanadatrust.com/extra to find some of the best deals exclusively
       for TD credit cardholders or visit the new ShopMyAXS site at
       https://www.shopmyaxs.com/ to find savings of up to 50% on over 3,000
       brand-name items.

    2. Keep track of your spending. Using your credit card can help keep
       track of spending, and as a bonus, many credit cards offer points that
       reward you for shopping. For example, the TD First Class Travel Visa
       Infinite Card earns you points that can be redeemed towards travel
       rewards anywhere in the world. Credit cards also offer the highest
       level of protection when shopping online.

    3. Buy gift cards. Almost everyone, from tourist attractions to
       restaurants, offers gift cards. This will allow the recipient to buy
       what they want when they want. And even when you go to the store to
       purchase gifts late in the season, you can be almost sure gift cards
       will still be in stock.

    4. Be practical. Do you have an artist on your list? A set of
       high-quality paintbrushes will make a great gift. An avid gardener? A
       full-colour gardening book will do the same. Find out what people on
       your list love to do, and give gifts to help them do just that.

    5. Donate. If giving gifts is not something you really enjoy, consider a
       donation to charity in your gift recipient's name. For example, you
       can make a holiday donation to a local chapter of the TD Friends of
       the Environment Foundation by visiting www.fef.td.com/donate.jsp
    

Holiday shopping habits

Although Canadians are among the highest users of the Internet in the world(1), only 47% say they will do any shopping online this holiday season. Just 3% plan to do more than half of their shopping online, and none of those polled plan to avoid the stores entirely to do all of their shopping.

Western Canadians appear to have the highest preference for shopping online. More than half (61%) of Albertans polled plan to shop online, and one-third (34%) plan to use the web for more than 10% of their holiday gift buying. Quebecers are least likely to shop online: less than one-third (32%) plan to this year.

"Of those who choose to shop online, 59% say it's because it's convenient and 50% say it's for the great online deals that can be found," says Pearson. "Given these responses, it is somewhat surprising that only 47% of Canadians say that they do any of their holiday shopping online."

Ask, and you may still not receive

According to the survey, although 39% of Canadians drop hints to family and friends about what they want as a holiday gift, less than half (40%) usually receive holiday gifts they like. Women are easier to shop for, with 45% indicating they usually like their gifts, versus 34% of men.

Holiday travel habits

Only 24% of Canadians plan to travel out of town during the holidays. In fact, more than two-thirds (68%) tend to stay home for the holidays every year--not just this year. Of those who will travel during the holidays, the most likely reason is to visit family and friends (74%).

Residents of Atlantic Canada are the most likely to travel (39%) while those from Quebec are the least likely (17%). Albertans revealed that their plans to stay home for the holidays this year are unusual: 13% say they normally travel over the holidays, but don't plan to this year (versus 8% nationally).

About the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card Holiday Survey

The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card Holiday Survey was conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion from November 24 to 26, 2009 with English and French speaking Canadians. The sample size includes 1,000 men and women.

About the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card:

The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card gives cardholders the flexibility to get the travel deal they want and to use their TD Points earned to pay for it - whether through their favourite travel agent, online website, tour package provider, a last-minute deal or promotion, or directly through the hotel or airline. With no blackout periods or restrictions on airlines, collecting and redeeming points on your TD First Class Travel Card is even more rewarding. And, while many competitor programs require their cardholders to reach point tiers to travel to specified destinations or limit the number of seats available, with the TD First Class Travel Card, redeeming points is simple and easy to understand. For every $1.00 in purchases made using the card, cardholders earn three (3) TD Points that can be redeemed towards any type of travel. For more information about the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card visit: http://www.tdfirstclasstravel.com

About TD Bank Financial Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$557 billion in assets on October 31, 2009. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

    
    --------------------------------
    (1) Source: http://www.internetworldstats.com/am/ca.htm Retrieved 2009-12-01.
    

SOURCE TD Canada Trust

For further information: For further information: Carolyn Abbass/Steve Presant, Paradigm Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, cabbass@paradigmpr.ca, spresant@paradigmpr.ca; Tashlin Hirani, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 982-3375, tashlin.hirani@td.com


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