Elon Poll: North Carolinians will spend cautiously over holidays - WNCN: News, Weather

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Elon Poll: North Carolinians will spend cautiously over holidays

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ELON, N.C. -

A third of North Carolinians say they plan to spend less money on gifts this holiday season than in previous years, while just 20 percent plan to spend more, a Elon University Poll reports

Nearly half of all state residents – 46 percent – say they will spend about the same as shoppers reflect a general pessimism about the economy. Four out of 10 respondents in the most recent poll said they believe the economy will worsen over the next year, compared to only 33 percent who think it will get better.

The live-caller, dual frame (landline and cell phone) survey of 732 North Carolina residents was conducted Nov. 15-18, 2013, and has a margin of error of 3.64 percentage points, Elon said in a news release.

Holiday shopping hours

"The holiday shopping season will be shorter than usual because Thanksgiving is happening so late in November," said assistant professor Kenneth Fernandez, director of the Elon University Poll. "This could have an important impact on the profits of many retailers, since about 20 percent of annual retail sales occur during the holiday season."

Of the 83 percent of respondents who said they plan to shop during the holidays, more plan to shop online on "Cyber Monday" (33 percent), the Monday after Thanksgiving when retailers promote online sales, than go to stores on "Black Friday" (26 percent), the day after Thanksgiving nicknamed for the point in the year where retailers have been said to move into the "black" on annual profits.

Eleven percent said they plan to shop on both days. More women (30 percent) than men (21 percent) plan to shop on Black Friday. Cyber Monday shopping will be done equally by men and women.

"Although more respondents said they would shop on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday, most gifts will be purchased in stores," Fernandez said. "On average, residents plan to do about 30 percent of their shopping online."

The Elon survey asked North Carolinians about their shopping priorities.

Seventeen percent of respondents named a video game or video game console when asked what gift "your friends and family seem most excited about this holiday season."  PlayStation/PS4 was mentioned the most, followed closely by Xbox/Xbox One.

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