One in Five Canadians Buy Gifts at the Last Minute



    Holiday Shopping Fact Sheet

    TORONTO, Dec. 19 /CNW/ - According to MasterCard Canada research, with
less than one week until Christmas, 19 per cent of Canadians may not have even
started their holiday shopping and often wait until Christmas Eve to buy their
gifts. Two-thirds of this group (67%) is made up of men, with one-quarter of
this category represented by dads.
    "For 1 in 5 Canadian holiday shoppers, this week is crunch week," said
Julie Wilson, Director, Public Affairs, MasterCard Canada. "Because of their
disorganized approach, these last-minute shoppers often go over budget and
spend far too much time wandering around the malls on Christmas Eve rather
than enjoying the holidays with friends and family."

    
    MasterCard provides the following tips for the last minute shopper:
    -  Make a plan of attack - Don't arrive at the mall doors without a
       strategy. Decide in advance which stores you need to hit and in what
       order. And shop from a list that includes budget guidelines.
    -  Go early or late - Try to avoid the prime time shopping hours. Shop
       early in the morning just as stores open. The crowds are smaller and
       the salespeople are less stressed.
    -  Cluster - try to buy gifts for multiple recipients at the same store
       rather than running around to 10 different places. For example, buy
       books for everyone on the list.
    -  Travel light - Dress comfortably, and check your coat if you can.
    -  Keep track - Keep your receipts in one place and make notes on them to
       remember which gift is which. Keep the receipts until you get your
       credit card statement and can cross reference the charges and until
       you've confirmed that nothing has to be returned or exchanged.
    -  Let your fingers do the shopping - If you act fast, you may still be
       able to order online and get packages delivered in time for Christmas.
       But check the shipping deadlines on the web site before you start
       picking your items.

    MasterCard's holiday shopping behaviours survey found that Canadians fall
into four categories:

       -  Stressed for the Season - 19% of Shoppers: Last-Minute Larry (or
          Lucy): Most of these shoppers haven't even started their holiday
          shopping. Because of their disorganized approach, you're likely to
          run into Larry (or Lucy) in the mall on Christmas Eve as he
          scrambles to find something for yet another person he forgot about
          this holiday season.

       -  Practical Shoppers - 30% of Shoppers: Sensible Shopper Susie (or
          Stephen): Because of their sense of practicality, expect that with
          one week until Christmas, they've just about finished wrapping
          their holiday gifts.

       -  Shop-aholics - 24% of Shoppers: Super Shopper Sheila (or Sean):
          This group love to make shopping lists, they love to make multiple
          trips to the malls and they'll likely be spending these last days
          buying just a few more holiday gifts, maybe one last item for a
          Christmas stocking, or one last treat for themselves.

       -  Super-Planners - 27% of Shoppers: Budget Bob (or Betty): Expect to
          find Budget Bob and Betty enjoying a cup of holiday eggnog as they
          relax and enjoy the countdown to Christmas Day.

    The Survey also revealed:

       -  Shoppers expect December 22 to be the busiest shopping day, which
          is in line with MasterCard global historical purchase transaction
          data(*).
       -  One in 10 Canadians (11%) will need more than 15 hours to get all
          their shopping done.
       -  More than half of men (54%) expect to complete holiday shopping in
          less than five hours versus 45% of women.
       -  Females out-shop men with 56 per cent of women saying they have
          more than 10 people on their list, versus only 39 per cent of men.
       -  One-third (33%) say they'll travel more than 20 kilometres to get
          their holiday shopping done and another one-third (34%) claim their
          shopping is done after one or two trips to the mall.
    

    About the survey:

    The survey was conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of
MasterCard Canada from October 18-24, 2007. The telephone survey is based on a
randomly selected sample of 1,005 Canadians ages 18+. With a sample of this
size, the results are considered accurate to within +/- 3.1 percentage points,
19 times out of 20. MasterCard Canada invites consumers to log onto
www.mastercard.ca to classify their shopping behaviour and learn how to better
survive the season.

    (*)The MasterCard worldwide survey was conducted online by Ipsos Insight,
an independent research company. Interviews were conducted in late
September/early October 2007. 4,509 interviews were conducted in six
countries: U.S.A., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Mexico. An
online methodology was used in all countries except for Mexico, where a
telephone methodology was used. Results from the 2007 survey were compared to
2006 results (where applicable). Data was weighted by age and gender to be
nationally representative. Subgroups were stat-tested against each other at
the 90 percent confidence interval.




For further information:

For further information: For more holiday shopping statistics or for
media interview opportunities: Don Blair, Environics Communications, (416)
969-2726

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