Consumers Don’t Expect to Get What They Want This Christmas

Nearly a quarter of all consumers don’t think they will get what they want for the holidays this year, according to the 21st Annual Holiday Survey of retail and shopping trends commissioned by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP.

Anyone among the 24 percent of survey participants indicating they will wait until the last minute to shop, will probably be grateful for the lists provided or hints dropped by 69 percent of respondents. Fortunately, since men are more likely to wait until the last minute to do their shopping, 73 percent of the women responding indicated they were more likely to tell people what they wanted. Be warned, however, 42 percent of women participating in the survey also said they believe they will get what they want.

For those not blessed with a list, toys and consumer electronics are expected to be big hits this holiday season. Top gift categories include video/computer games, digital cameras and high definition/plasma televisions. The most wanted gifts include T.M.X. Elmo, iPods, Sony Playstations and Microsoft Xboxes. Those opting for gift cards will prefer iTunes, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Starbuck’s and Best Buy.

Although it did not appear in the Deloitte results, it should be noted that Wii, the new game console from Nintendo, outsold rival Sony’s PlayStation 3 by more than 2-to-1 during November, according to figures released Friday. The year-old Xbox from Microsoft remains at the top of the game console mountain, selling 511,300 Xbox 360 consoles during November. Wii is closing fast, selling 476,140, despite its mid-November release into the American market. PlayStation 3, which has been hit by manufacturing problems since its own mid-November release, managed 196,580 sales, according to NPD.

The Deloitte survey sampled 13,399 adult consumers and has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

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