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Nearly 70% of Puerto Rican shoppers to buy Three Kings Day gifts for immediate family

The Three Kings Day gift giving tradition is alive and well, and growing, among Puerto Rican shoppers, according to this year’s holiday consumer survey by advertising agency Arteaga & Arteaga’s, in which seven of every 10 consumers, 67%, said they plan to buy gifts to mark the traditional holiday celebrated Jan. 6.

Most consumers will wait until the week of Three Kings Day to finalize their shopping.

Despite the impact of Hurricane Fiona, a third of those surveyed said that they keep a bright holiday spirit and mentioned that “sharing and gathering as a family will be the most desired activities for the festive season.”  

Traveling, decorating the home, and buying a gift for oneself also figured in the wishes of those surveyed.

Neither Hurricane Fiona, the pandemic, earthquakes, or a 15-year-old homegrown economic crisis cannot extinct Puerto Ricans’ holiday spirit, according to this year’s holiday survey (Santa’s List), which gauges behaviors, thoughts and emotions of shoppers and consumers during the holiday season.

At a glance, Hurricane Fiona seems to have impacted initial Christmas retail sales as consumers held back on early holiday shopping and the wild frenzy of Black Friday in years past. 

In contrast, a combination of factors including salary-Christmas bonuses; pandemic and hurricane relief funds still flowing through the economy, and growing support for local traditions and products made in Puerto Rico may yield better results for local retailers seeking to extend their shopping season through Three Kings Day and beyond — even stretching it until the popular San Sebastian Street Festival celebrated at the end of January, according to the study.

Gifts for immediate family  
Children, grandchildren, and spouses are atop Three Kings shoppers’ list. Overall, shoppers seem to be going back to the essence of the Three Kings celebration, when children enjoyed going outside with parents or grandparents to cut grass to leave “food” for the camels under the three in return for presents. 

Buying fewer gifts for Christmas may give shoppers additional time to find that special gift for that special someone and benefit from last-minute seasonal discounts. 

Immediate family members will be the lucky ones on Three Kings, the study showed.

For 63% of those surveyed, children tops their Three Kings Day gift list, then grandchildren at 57%, closely followed by grandchildren and spouses 39% and 38% respectively.  Almost all gift recipient categories increased compared with 2021, chief among them, gift for children which increased 6% up from 57% last year.

The trend of buying gifts for the immediate family is also consistent with Puerto Rican’s “most cherished” according to 68% of those interviewed, followed by traveling which came in a distant second at 30%.   

From: me, To: me
Interestingly, gifts “from me to me” at 33% are also among the top gift recipients for Three Kings Day, the holiday survey revealed. Even more revealing is that after the passing of Hurricane Fiona, the number of consumers who will buy a gift for themselves more than doubled. 

Retailers interviewed explained that for the past five to six years parents, especially single-parent family households, have been managing tight budgets and with some extra disposable income, they may be able to indulge a little bit on something they may want for themselves.

Friends (8%), neighbors (5%), in-laws (4%) and co-workers (3%) may be dropped from the Three Kings Day shopping list.

Online shopping is king
The upward trend of online shopping that accelerated during the pandemic may have slowed down a bit but is here to stay, the study showed. From grocery shopping to deliveries and even teleconsulting, online shopping is king this holiday season. 

Retailers that resist the trend are bound to disappear like some big boxes that continue to close shop. In contrast, online shopping has leveled the playing field for many who reinvented themselves during the pandemic.   

Slightly more than half (51%) of those surveyed said they are going to do holiday shopping online and fewer people are contemplating reducing their online shopping budget for the holiday.

Compared to 2021, only two in 10 respondents said they would reduce their online purchases. In fact, 11% more than in 2021 expressed that they will maintain the same number of purchases or that they will increase online shopping citing good deals, variety, and convenience among the driving factors.

Hybrid shopping on the rise
On the other hand, hybrid shopping is the growing post-pandemic trend, with one in four people surveyed indicating that they usually visit the store in person and then order the item online. Although anecdotally, the hybrid digital-instore shopping is more of a cultural adjustment as Puerto Rican shoppers still enjoy the “experience of going shopping”.  

In turn, almost the same proportion of people, one in four, buy using links on social networks.

The most frequently purchased items online are in categories such as electronic and video games and technology, while the highest frequency of in-person purchases is in footwear, gift cards, cosmetics and fragrances, personal care, and household items.

Meanwhile, the majority of those surveyed said their biggest considerations when selecting a place to shop are the quality of the items and their brands, specials, and offers and low prices.

Santa’s List is one of the real-time consumer studies that Arteaga & Arteaga has been conducting for the past 16 years through its proprietary research platform, A&ANSWERS.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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