The holiday shopping season kicks into high gear Friday (and, in the case of a few stores, Thursday night). When you start talking shopping strategies, it becomes pretty clear pretty quickly how differently we all approach the task.
There are the traditionalists, like Patty Miller. The retiree does all her shopping in person; nothing online. She plans ahead, goes with friends when she can and she thinks Thanksgiving weekend should not be about Christmas shopping – not getting up early to go shopping.
“Absolutely not,” she says. “I think family is so important. In fact I kind of blackball the places that open on Thursday.”
You won’t find Fort Worth’s Jacqueline Wilson shopping on Black Friday, either – that’s because she’ll be at work at 5 in the morning at an Ulta cosmetics store. Wilson is a deal seeker, highly organized and methodical. She works in retail, so she knows she’s not always getting the best savings at this time of year. She starts her holiday buying early, sometimes with end of summer sales.
“I like to shop ahead of time and I like to use coupons and online shopping, so whatever the best deal is I’m going to snatch it up,” she says.
“Retailers over the last couple years have struggled so much that you can find deep discounts all throughout the year,” says Gene Monacelli, “so no longer do consumers have to wait for those special big days anymore.”
Monacelli is with Deloitte Consulting, which released the results of its annual survey about holiday shopping this week. He says North Texans are savvy shoppers, but also a bit traditional – they use the Web to compare prices…but most like to buy in person.
“For us here we use it largely for a research tool,” he says, but “still like to go into the store to buy and collect our goods in person.”
Monacelli says North Texans plan to spend about 13 percent more on average than last year – we’re pretty optimistic about the economy, he says.
Peter Adams plans to buy more this year. That is, when he gets around to shopping. His style? Procrastinate until the last minute, then go to the store and trust his instincts.
“I like to be able to see it, touch it, feel it,” he says. “I’m that type of person. I never make up a list or anything, I kind of go with the flow.”
Adams says he’ll start shopping in due time. He’s still waiting on his 8-year-old’s wish list. A procrastinator in training? Perhaps.
Last you have the mean-to-an-end types. Lindsay Withrow is one of them. She used to do Black Friday with her mom. "It was a lot of fun," she says, getting up at three in the morning to brave the crowds. Now that she has a one-year-old, it's all online for her. She hasn't started shopping yet, but she says she plans to start next week, to make sure she's got enough time to get everything delivered before her family starts travelling for the holiday.