AAA Hawaii Survey of State's Shoppers Reveals Most Plan to Cut Holiday Budgets, But Not Gift Recipients

HONOLULU, HI--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Most Hawaii residents plan to maintain their holiday gift-giving lists at the same number of people this year despite the economic downturn, but most also plan to cut their gift budgets by seeking out discounts and less expensive presents, according to a new holiday spending poll conducted by the AAA Marketing Research Department.

The online survey also revealed that 41 percent of local holiday shoppers plan to spend less than $500 on gifts, and 73 percent plan to spend $1,000 or less.

Also, more than one-quarter of those surveyed said that this year they planned to change their usual shopping habits by clipping coupons and/or using a discount program such as AAA Discounts to save money on gifts.

"The effects of the economic downturn are causing consumers to be more careful with their holiday gift shopping budgets by seeking out coupons and discounts such as those available through AAA membership," said Denise Bialek, the Program Director of AAA Discounts. "The AAA Discounts program has added several new retailers this year that already provide discounted prices, such as Banana Republic Factory Outlets and, allowing members to save even more when gift shopping."

Popular techniques for saving money this holiday shopping season, according to the holiday spending poll, are:

1) Finding less expensive gifts (37 percent)

2) Ordering online to take advantage of free shipping for gifts that must be mailed (37 percent)

3) Doing more research to make sure of getting the best price (35 percent)

4) Shopping more at discount stores (30 percent)

5) Using store coupons and/or obtaining discounts through programs such as AAA Discounts (28 percent)

6) Buying the same amount for the kids but cutting back on the amount spent on adults (17 percent)

Even though more than two-thirds of Aloha State residents in the AAA survey planned to do at least some holiday shopping online, the poll revealed that shoppers still plan to spend 57 percent of their gift budgets in retail stores.

The most popular holiday shopping destinations for Hawaii holiday shoppers this year, according to the poll, will be online sites (66 percent) followed by shopping mall stores (65 percent), discount stores (64 percent), retail department stores (64 percent), membership stores (62 percent), electronics stores (38 percent), home improvement stores (21 percent) and catalogs (16 percent). Twelve percent of those surveyed planned to do at least some holiday shopping at a luxury brand or upscale department store.

The most popular items on gift-buyers' lists this year are gift cards/certificates (73 percent), followed by apparel and accessories (66 percent), books (48 percent), toys (45 percent), consumer electronics (36 percent), DVDs/videos (34 percent), jewelry (27 percent), music (24 percent), sporting goods (23 percent), video games (22 percent), flowers/cards (20 percent) and computer hardware/software (20 percent).

"With the exception of gift cards, AAA members can take advantage of deep discounts on all the most popular gift categories through AAA Discounts' participating businesses such as Payless Shoe Source, and online retailers through the AAA Discounts shopping link,, including, jewelers, DELL and," Bialek said.

More information about AAA discounts is available at or at the AAA Hawaii office, 1130 Nimitz Highway, Suite A170, where members can get the new Member Savings Guide featuring holiday discounts and special offers.

Contact Information: CONTACT: Marie Montgomery (714) 885-2333