Walmart Is Ready for Last-Minute Shopping Rush

New customer survey finds customers hope to finish their shopping on Super Saturday

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Dec. 18, 2014 – Still haven’t checked everything off your Christmas gift list? Well, you’re not alone. The world’s largest retailer conducted in-person interviews with more than 2,200 customers in Walmart stores across the U.S. on Saturday, Dec. 13 and found more than one-third plan to shop for last-minute gifts on Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas.

To ensure last-minute shoppers get the gifts they want at a great price, Walmart stores will continue to receive many of the season’s hottest toys, electronics and home goods until Dec. 24. The retailer is also helping its customers get in and out quickly by creating designated areas near the front of its stores with popular last-minute gifts such as stocking stuffers, gift sets and gift cards. Customers can also choose to order from tens of thousands of items on Walmart.com by Dec. 23 and receive free same-day pickup in stores on Dec. 24.

“Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a trend in customers waiting until the last minute to finish their shopping,” said Scott McCall, senior vice president of merchandising for Walmart U.S. “While many customers start their Christmas shopping in November, the majority don’t put their lists away until Dec. 24. Our stores are ready to help customers get everything they need from top toys and electronics to stocking stuffers, cookies for Santa and the easiest present to give: the gift card.”

Notable findings from Walmart’s holiday shopping survey include:

Procrastination a Top Excuse for Last-Minute Shopping
-Last-minute shoppers cited being busy with other holiday season activities (40%) or pure procrastination (36%) as the top reasons they wait to finish their shopping.

-Cities with the highest percentage of last-minute shoppers include: Sioux City, Iowa (47%), Indianapolis (34%), Albuquerque, N.M. (33%), San Antonio (31%) and Fayetteville,    N.C. (23%).

Sin City Shoppers Among Those Betting on Super Saturday
-Nationwide, 42 percent of customers conduct the majority of their Christmas shopping in December, with 36 percent planning to shop on Super Saturday.

-Las Vegas (76%) had the highest percentage of respondents saying they plan to shop on Super Saturday. This was followed by Phoenix (62%), Kansas City, Mo. (62%),   Columbus, Ohio (62%) and Houston (59%).

Shopping Carts Will be Full of Groceries and Toys
-Top purchases for last-minute holiday shopping trips include gifts like toys and electronics (23%), groceries for holiday meals (22%), stocking stuffers (21%), holiday-party   items (17%) and alcohol (17%).

-Of those planning to shop the Saturday before Christmas, 68 percent of shoppers in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Sacramento, Calif., planned to purchase big gift items like toys   and electronics – almost three times the national average of 23 percent.

Customers Won’t Let Their Children Go Without Frozen
-What toys are hot this year? Respondents said their children want the following: Anything “Frozen” or Elsa-related, Legos and gaming systems like PlayStation 4 and Xbox.

Spouses are the Hardest Person to Shop for
-Spouse (28%) are the most difficult to shop for, followed by children (26%), extended family (26%) and friends or co-workers (19%).

-More than half of respondents from Albuquerque, N.M. (52%) said their children were the hardest people to shop for, twice the national average of 26 percent.

Last-Minute Deals and Stocking Stuffers
Walmart stores will have a stocking stuffer display with more than 30 top gifts under $10, including Barbie, Transformers, My Little Pony, Legos, card games and more. The retailer has added hundreds of new Rollbacks and special buys on the season’s hottest toys, electronics and home goods. A few Rollbacks in place while supplies last, include:

  • Vizio 42” Class Smart LED HDTV - $348 ($50 savings)
  • Holiday Barbie - $31 ($4 savings)
  • Air Hogs RC Zero Gravity Laser Racer - $29.88 ($5 savings)
  • Razor E150 24V Electric Scooter - $117 ($20 savings)
  • Shark Bagless Cyclonic Hand Vac - $34 ($4.87 savings)
  • Canon PowerShot ELPH135 Camera Bundle - $79 ($20 savings)
  • Nikon Coolpix L830 Camera - $199 ($30 savings)
  • NutriBullet Pro 900 - $129 with a $10 Walmart Gift Card ($30 value)

To make shopping easy and convenient for customers, the retailer’s new Checkout Promise is in full effect, with more registers open than ever before during the times when customers are shopping most. Additionally, customers can shop tens of thousands of items on Walmart.com and receive free same-day pickup in Walmart stores.

The Gift of Choice – A Walmart Gift Card
Walmart confirmed that gift cards are more popular than ever and no longer perceived as a thoughtless gift. The retailer heard from its customers that they like giving gift cards because it offers their family and friends options. To help customers provide an extra special touch by personalizing the gift card, Walmart carries a range of card holders, and is also for the first time providing dozens of fun, DIY ideas for presenting gift cards on its Pinterest page and on Walmart.com.

The retailer sells more than 50 different types of gift cards in its stores and online at www.walmart.com/giftcards. In addition to the Walmart Gift Card, the top five brands sold at Walmart include: Apple iTunes, Darden Restaurants, Starbucks, Xbox and Applebee’s. Walmart eGift Cards can be sent anytime – even on Christmas morning – and is usually received by the recipient within hours. Walmart eGift Cards can be redeemed in-stores and online.

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Editor’s Note:
Walmart commissioned a survey with customers while they waited in line to take pictures with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 13 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the following markets: Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colo. Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; El Paso, Texas; Fayetteville, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Houston, Texas; Indianapolis, Ind.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Kan.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Omaha, Neb.; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Antonio, Texas; Sioux City, Iowa; Springfield, Mo.; Virginia Beach; Va.; Wichita; Kan.; Winston Salem; N.C. The cross-sectional survey polled 2,269 customers ages 18 – 65 years old, of which, 41 percent were male and 59 percent were female.

About Walmart 
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere -- in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 250 million customers and members visit our 11,202 stores under 71 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2014 sales of over $473 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.