Shopping In America Survey: Shoppers Pick Hottest Holiday Gifts Under The Tree

by Jay Cochran
November 02, 2005

Shoppers are making their lists and checking them twice as the busy holiday shopping season begins. MP3 players, Barbie items, fashion and entertainment will be among the top sellers, according to the Shopping in America Holiday 2005 consumer survey conducted for The Macerich Company (NYSE:MAC) by August Partners. Men and women's individual wish lists will range from sports tickets, designer jeans and golf clubs to DVD/CD boxed sets, jewelry and embellished fashion.

Overall, U.S. consumers plan to spend the majority of their $655 holiday gift budgets -- up 7.8 percent from last year -- on clothing (selected by 21 percent of shoppers), toys (12 percent), electronics (12 percent), jewelry (11 percent), books/CDs (11 percent) and mall gift cards (10 percent). Shoppers will spend an additional average of $316 for parties, decorations and other seasonal purchases.

Top Electronic Gifts

"A mainstay on holiday shopping lists, the latest electronic products offer a variety of options for shoppers," explained Garry Butcher, vice president of marketing and consumer research for The Macerich Company. "The new MP3 players and game consoles will be among the most popular items this season."

Consumers surveyed named the iPod Nano (selected by 35 percent), Xbox 360 (21 percent) and Plasma TV/HDTV (14 percent) as the most popular picks in the category. Game Boy Micro (2 percent), V cam Now/Video Now XP Player and digital camera w/MP3 player came in last among shoppers.

Top Electronic Gifts

iPod Nano
All Shoppers 34% Male 27% Female 39%

Xbox 360
All Shoppers 21% Male 28% Female 17%

Plasma TV/HDTV
All Shoppers 14% Male 14% Female 14%

FLY Pentop Computer (Leapfrog)
All Shoppers 9% Male 9% Female 8%

GPS Navigation System
All Shoppers 6% Male 7% Female 6%

PDA Cell Phone
All Shoppers 3% Male 4% Female 3%

Digital Camera w/ MP3 Player
All Shoppers 2% Male 1% Female 2%

V cam Now/Video Now XP Player
All Shoppers 2% Male 2% Female 1%

Game Boy Micro
All Shoppers 2% Male 1% Female 1%

Don't Know/No Opinion
All Shoppers 8% Male 8% Female 8%

Hottest Toys

"Both new and innovative toys as well as updated favorites are topping the list of what shoppers predict to be hot sellers for youth this holiday," said Butcher.

Barbie & The Magic of Pegasus/Princess Annika (23 percent), Dance Maker/Dance Dance Revolution (22 percent), Teddy Ruxpin (10 percent), and the Amazing Amanda Doll (9 percent) are predicted to fill the most toy packages. The new Furby (1 percent), iZ/iDog (2 percent) and Aquadoodle Drawing Board (3 percent) were least popular among surveyed consumers.

Top Toys

Barbie & The Magic of Pegasus/ Princess Annika 23%

Dance Maker/Dance Dance Revolution 22%

Teddy Ruxpin 10%

Amazing Amanda Doll 9%

Star Wars Items 7%

Bratz Items 5%

Aquadoodle Drawing Board 3%

iZ/iDog 2%

Furby 1%

Don't Know/No Opinion 19%

What Men Want: Top Gifts

Both shoppers as a whole (22 percent) and men themselves (20 percent) gave the nod to sports tickets as the best holiday gift for males. Designer jeans (16 percent), hybrid golf clubs (12 percent) and DVD/CD box sets (10 percent) were also selected as top picks by men, while loafers (1 percent), vests (2 percent) and trendy rock-inspired jewelry (6 percent) were least favored.

Top Gifts for Men

Sports Tickets
All Shoppers 22% Male 20%

Designer Jeans
All Shoppers 18% Male 16%

Hybrid Golf Club
All Shoppers 11% Male 12%

DVD/CD Box Sets
All Shoppers 10% Male 10%

Corduroy/Velvet Blazer
All Shoppers 9% Male 11%

All Shoppers 9% Male 10%

Rock-Inspired Jewelry
All Shoppers 5% Male 6%

All Shoppers 3% Male 2%

All Shoppers 1% Male 1%

None of These/No Opinion
All Shoppers 13% Male 12%

What Women Want: Top Gifts

"With new releases of popular TV series and movies, DVD/CD box sets are topping women's wish lists this year, along with trendy layered necklaces and embellished sweaters," said Butcher. "Women also hope to find designer home accents or velvet/fitted jackets underneath the wrapping this season."

Top Gifts for Women

DVD/CD Boxed Sets
All Shoppers 17% Female 16%

Layered Necklaces
All Shoppers 15% Female 16%

Embellished Sweaters
All Shoppers 14% Female 14%

Leopard Print Accessories/Shoes
All Shoppers 11% Female 9%

Designer Home Accents
All Shoppers 11% Female 11%

Velvet Blazer/Fitted Jacket
All Shoppers 8% Female 10%

Celebrity Fragrances
All Shoppers 6% Female 7%

All Shoppers 4% Female 5%

Colorful Gloves
All Shoppers 4% Female 4%

None of These/No Opinion
All Shoppers 11% Female 9%

Treat Yourself

The Shopping in America survey also revealed other interesting trends among holiday shoppers:

-- More than two fifths (44 percent) of shoppers admit they will buy something special for themselves this holiday season. Fifteen (15) percent are on the fence regarding holiday self-indulgence.

-- Approximately 46 percent have returned holiday gifts, with female consumers (50 percent) being more likely to return gifts than males (40 percent).

-- "Re-gifting?" Only 31 percent of shoppers admit to passing on a gift they had previously received. The practice is slightly more popular among women (33 percent) than men (27 percent).

Shopping in America is a national shopper intercept survey that studies consumer-shopping trends. The Holiday 2005 survey was conducted among 3,780 shoppers in 12 regional shopping centers geographically spread throughout the United States. Respondents ranged in age from 12 to 75+ years. Not all results are stated in this news release and some are rounded to the nearest whole number. Data totals are subject to a +/- 1.6 percent margin of error.

Additional Shopping in America results will be released in November and December. To view other Shopping in America findings -- including results on anticipated spending -- please visit

The Macerich Company is a fully integrated self-managed and self- administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States. The Company is the sole general partner and owns an 82% ownership interest in The Macerich Partnership, L.P. Macerich owns approximately 79 million square feet of gross leaseable area consisting primarily of interests in 75 regional malls. Additional information about The Macerich Company can be obtained from the Company's web site at


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