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Consumer spending to increase for holidays; gift cards to be popular

More than half to spend $500 or more

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — More than half of consumers say they plan to spend $500 or more on gifts this holiday season, slightly more than what they planned on spending in 2011, according to PriceGrabber’s winter holiday shopping survey.

The survey of online shopping consumers, conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 12, revealed that 75% planned to shop with online retailers, 74% said they’d shop at discount stores and 49% planned to shop at traditional department stores.

Clothing and gift cards were the most popular holiday gift choice; 65% of consumers plan to purchase clothes, 49% to purchase gift cards, and 41% will purchase books, CDs, DVDs or video games. About 40% will purchase toys, 24% will buy food or candy, and 17% indicated cosmetics, spa packages or beauty-related gifts.

Consumers plan on post-Thanksgiving shopping; 33% said they believe the best deals would be available after Thanksgiving (up from 29% in 2011). Some 28% plan to shop on Black Friday, 23% will shop in December and 16% are targeting Cyber Monday.

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