11 November 2010



CONTACT: For your local media contact visit www.AAA.com/Media

Joanna Newton, sr. project manager, AAA Public Relations, (813) 289-5859 office, (813) 787-6886 cell, JNewton@AAASouth.com

Jessica Brady, manager, AAA Public Relations, (813) 288-7294 office, (813) 532-5327 cell, JBrady@AAASouth.com


Because of strict budgets, nearly half of consumers started holiday shopping early
TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 11, 2010)—Nearly half (45%) of consumers reported they have already started shopping for the holidays and expect to make purchases within the first two weeks of November. Despite concerns about the economy, stagnant incomes, and a need for strict holiday budgets, 54 percent of respondents expect to spend the same amount on gifts this year as last year, shows AAA’s Third Annual Holiday Shopping Consumer Pulse survey. Please see attached for full survey.
Interestingly, more than 60 percent of respondents report they will try to buy more gifts on sale and research the lowest prices, yet less than half plan to take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday, which are traditionally known as the days retailers provide the most significant discounts. However, more than 80 percent of consumers reported they intend to shop at discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart in order to save money.  

“Since so many people want to save money and yet don’t plan to wait until Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers should look elsewhere to take advantage of all available discounts,” said Belinda Dabrowski, managing director, AAA Partnership Development. “Check memberships like AAA to see if you can get incentives and discounts when shopping, because you may be missing out on significant ways to save your family additional money this holiday season.”

A fraction of respondents (19%), intend to utilize memberships to receive additional discounts. And, more than 42 percent of consumers said they will use credit cards that offer points, miles, and/or rewards.
“AAA Members saved an average of $93 last year by using their AAA membership and we believe these savings can help many shoppers this year,” said Dabrowski.
Show Your Card & Save Holiday Shopping Tips:
  • Take advantage of retail or online discounts and check with any clubs or associations like AAA to see if discounts and rewards are available.
  • When shopping online, look for special offers or dates from retailers when free shipping may be available.
  • Check store circulars for in-store sales or coupons. Note that many retailers will honor sale prices if items were purchased the week before they went on sale.
  • Sort through junk mail since many retailers send bonus coupons and gift cards in the mail during the holidays.
  • Consider taking one retailer’s circular to another retailer and ask for competitive pricing.
  • If you want to purchase an item in a store, but forgot the coupon, ask if you can bring the coupon back for the adjusted price.
Save this holiday season by using the benefits of the largest member discount program in the world. AAA’s Show Your Card & Save® program provides instant discounts at retail locations in North American including Payless ShoeSource®, Premium Outlets and Gap Outlet and with popular online retailers through AAA.com like Target.com, Shoes.com, Dell and more. AAA members saved $2.3 billion in 2009. Visit AAA.com/Discounts for a complete list of retailers and offers.

AAA’s Annual Holiday Shopping survey represents opinions obtained in the most recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey among a representative population of 653 Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee consumer households. The Consumer Pulse survey was conducted online between Oct. 20-24 and has a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.

AAA Auto Club South has 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.

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