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Study: 88%+ Puerto Rican consumers will shop this holiday season

Not even the pandemic will be able to prevent Puerto Ricans from celebrating the best and longest Christmas in the world.

More than 88% of Puerto Rican consumers confirmed they will be holiday shopping this season, which represents a 9% increase over last year, according to results of the 10th edition of “Santa’s List 2021,” the annual consumer survey of Christmas shopping created by advertising agency Arteaga & Arteaga.

Despite a decline in income, resulting from cyclical ups and downs of the pandemic, closures, restrictive travel measures, socialization and other socioeconomic situations, the island’s retail industry — which generates $36 billion in annual sales (excluding motor vehicle sales) — is “prepared for and optimistic” about year-end sales which in turn account for more than 35% of its total sales.

Experts point to several factors that have strengthened consumer confidence in the face of the Christmas season, including the successful handling of the pandemic, with Puerto Rico being one of the locations with the highest incidence of vaccination against COVID-19 and the tourist-cultural explosion that the island has experienced during its reopening.

The Santa’s List 2021 survey looks closely at shoppers’ budgets, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions during the holiday season, further revealing that consumers will wait until the week before Christmas (55%) and Three Kings Day (62%) as the ideal time to complete their purchases. This, despite merchants’ efforts to generate sales with early season offers.

Celebrating the holidays with loved ones continues to be one of the main reasons for shopping this season. Consumers will take the time to search for a special gift for each special person in their life, bringing purchase intention in 2021 back to pre-pandemic levels, according to Santa’s List, according to the study.

Price, variety, convenience, and product quality are among the most influential factors when buying gifts, with 59% of consumers equally or better prepared financially to make their purchases this year.

While consumers seek low prices and special offers at mass merchants, those who choose to shop online closely watch convenience, avoid crowded places, special offers, variety, and above all product quality, it noted.

Savvy consumers
Santa’s List revealed that this year’s buyer is a more experienced and methodical one, with 74% of respondents willing to combine their face-to-face shopping experience, traditional store visits, supporting mall and medium-sized businesses with online sales, to complete their gift list.

Online sales, already on the rise prior to the pandemic, have been positioned as one of the main consumer purchase channels this year, with 22% of shoppers visiting traditional stores prior to completing their online purchases, confirmed the study.

However, large discount chains still represent the main option for more than 45% and 49% of Christmas and Three Kings Day shoppers respectively.

But who will make it to Santa or the Three Kings’ gift list will not depend solely on whether you have been naughty or nice this year. Children continue to top the gift list, followed by nephews, spouses, grandparents, seniors, godchildren, and grandchildren among others.

That little gift “from me to me” will also make it to Santa’s List this year, the study confirmed.

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

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