'Tis the Season of the Last Minute Shopper: the Scotiabank Holiday Spending Poll finds Canadians Hitting the Malls Later this

'Tis the Season of the Last Minute Shopper: the Scotiabank Holiday Spending 
Poll finds Canadians Hitting the Malls Later this Year 
--  Shoppers say the hardest person to shop for on their gift list 

        is their significant other.

TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Not finished your holiday shopping yet? You 
aren't alone. According to the Scotiabank Holiday Shopping Poll, more 
Canadians are delaying their holiday shopping this year with fewer people 
shopping a month or two before December (36 per cent vs. 42 per cent in 2011) 
and more buying their gifts throughout the hustle and the bustle of the month 
of December (42 per cent vs. 34 per cent in 2011). A small, but brave group of 
last-minute shoppers are planning on leaving it until the last two days before 
the holiday (1 per cent).

They may still be in the malls, but many Canadians have planned for their 
holiday expenses this year (66 per cent), with a quarter (23 per cent) 
planning well in advance. Women are more likely than men to plan for their 
holiday expenses well in advance (28 per cent vs. men at 19 per cent), while 
men are more likely to spend as needed (35 per cent vs. women at 28 per cent).

As part of their festive strategy, over half of Canadians have saved enough to 
cover the cost of all the gifts they intend to buy, and this is significantly 
more people who have saved than last year (53 per cent vs. 45 per cent in 

"It is excellent news that the majority of Canadians are heading into the 
holidays with a plan," said Mike Henry, Senior Vice President of Retail 
Payments, Deposits and Lending, Scotiabank. "This is a special time of year to 
appreciate the people that bring richness into your life. By mapping out a 
holiday budget, you can enjoy the season without worrying about the bills and 
put yourself in the best position possible heading into the New Year."

Part of shoppers' plans for this holiday season is to rein in their spending. 
Canadians plan to spend $822 on holiday expenses overall, down from $1,021 in 
2011 and at their lowest level since 2008. On gifts, Canadians plan on 
spending $578 compared to the $685 they spent in 2011.

"This festive season finds Canadians planning to spend less and save more over 
the holidays", says Aron Gampel, Deputy Chief Economist, Scotiabank. "Although 
the Canadian economy and job market have been quite resilient, many households 
appear to be focussed on managing their larger debt burdens, a prudent plan in 
an increasingly uncertain global environment."

Atlantic Canadians ($1232) and Albertans ($1010) are planning on opening their 
wallets the most this holiday season, while those in British Columbia ($713) 
and Quebec ($630) are planning to be a bit more frugal in their celebratory 

Average Spending Intentions Across Canada in 2012

|                Intended Holiday Spending      |                  Intended Gift Spending       |
|Total|Atlantic|Quebec|Ont.|Man/Sask|Alberta|BC |Total|Atlantic|Quebec|Ont.|Man/Sask|Alberta|BC |
|  $  |   $    |  $   | $  |   $    |   $   | $ |  $  |   $    |  $   | $  |   $    |   $   | $ |
| 822 |   1232 |  630 |849 |   883  |  1010 |713| 578 |   823  |  475 |606 |   663  |   662 |439|

A problem Canadians share this holiday season is getting stumped on the last 
person on their list. The poll found that 31 per cent of Canadians say their 
spouse/partner/significant other is the hardest person to shop for on their 
list. Also difficult to pick out a gift for are their moms and dads (both at 
11 per cent), their children (10 per cent), siblings (6 per cent) and in-laws 
(5 per cent).

For Canadians struggling for gift ideas, many turn to their loved ones' wish 
lists (30 per cent) for most of their inspiration. Other sources for gift 
ideas include family (22 per cent), flyers (14 per cent) and websites (nine 
per cent).

For those still planning on heading to the store, Scotiabank offers its top 
five tips to deck the halls without breaking the budget.

1)      Create a budget and stick to it. Decide who you are buying for
        and how much you can realistically afford for each person.
        Going to the mall with a list in hand can help you not
        overspend on any one person on your list.

2)       Get the most out of your shopping. When you are shopping this
        festive season, try to use a debit or credit card that also
        provides you with benefits like rewards points or a percentage
        of cash back. Scotiabank offers a great range of loyalty
        rewards cards, like the SCENE movie rewards cards and the
        Scotiabank Momentum VISA cards.

3)      Keep track of your spending throughout the holidays. There are
        great ways to keep an eye on your spending, like online
        banking, mobile banking or InfoAlerts. If you know how much
        you've already spent on holiday expenses, it can help you see
        if you are veering toward going over-budget.

4)      Be a creative gift giver. Handmade gifts are often the most
        memorable. Create personalized gifts or package up homemade
        treats for family and friends. You can also give the gift of
        your time. Shovelling your neighbour's driveway or taking your
        nieces and nephews ice skating can be a great alternative to a
        traditional present.

5)      Build a Holiday Fund. For those looking to get a head start on
        saving for next year's festivities, consider creating a holiday
        saving fund. By committing to saving gradually all year, you
        can look forward to enjoying the holidays without putting a
        dent in your savings for your more long-term financial goals.
        Scotiabank offers a variety of easy ways to save, including the
        Bank the Rest program to help customers build savings year
        round with each purchase made with their debit card.

About the polling data

The Scotiabank Holiday Poll was conducted online using Harris/Decima's online 
panel. A total of 1,009 completed surveys were collected from a random sample 
of panel members across Canada. The study was conducted from November 16(th) 
through 27(th), 2012.

About Scotiabank 
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and 
Canada's most international bank. With more than 81,000 employees, Scotiabank 
and its affiliates serve some 19 million customers in more than 55 countries 
around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services 
including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. In December 
2012, Scotiabank became the first Canadian bank to be named Global Bank of the 
Year and Bank of the Year in the Americas by The Banker magazine, a Financial 
Times publication. With assets of $668 billion (as at October 31, 2012), 
Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more 
information please visit www.scotiabank.com. 


More Holiday Shopping Facts:
    --  When they line up to the cash register, half of Canadians (51%)
        plan to pay for their holiday expenses with money they already
        have by using debit or cash (31 per cent with their debit card
        and 20 per cent with cash). The top three gifts to give are
        gift cards/gift certificates (47 per cent), clothing (43 per
        cent), and toys (38 per cent).
    --  The most popular gifts to buy for yourself this holiday season
        are electronics (27 per cent), clothing (16 per cent), trips or
        travel (15 percent), entertainment/food/beverage (five percent)
        and jewellery (five per cent).
    --  Women are more likely than men to do their holiday shopping
        gradually throughout the year (15 per cent vs. nine per cent of
    --  Men are more likely to do their shopping at the last minute -
        either the week before (eight per cent vs. three per cent of
        women) or a day or two before the holiday (three per cent of
        men vs. less than one per cent of women).
    --  Men are planning on spending significantly more this holiday
        season than women. Overall, men are planning on spending $905
        compared to women spending $746. On gifts alone, men are
        planning on spending $629 and women are planning on $530.
    --  Albertans are the most likely to have saved to cover the cost
        of all their gifts (62 per cent), followed by residents in
        Manitoba/Saskatchewan (58 per cent), B.C. (53 per cent), Quebec
        and Ontario (both at 52 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (46 per
    --  Most Canadians (62 per cent) feel the economy has had no impact
        on their holiday spending plans. Some Canadians (32 per cent)
        say they felt it had a negative impact on their plans.

Diana Hart P: 416-866-7238 E:diana.hart@scotiabank.com

SOURCE: Scotiabank

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CO: Scotiabank
ST: Ontario

-0- Dec/18/2012 12:00 GMT

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