Dec. 10 - Consumers are procrastinating this holiday season- putting off their shopping- but not when it comes to spending on themselves. Sasha Salama reports.
SOUNDBITE: RAMON SANTIAGO, COURIER, FEDEX EXPRESS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's a fast-paced morning for us while we load our trucks". The pace at Federal Express couldn't be faster as consumers shopping online try to take advantage of the final days when retailers offer free shipping. REPORTER BRIDGE: SASHA SALAMA, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's the second Monday in December, the busiest shipping day of the year. Here at Fedex, they're expecting to ship 19 million packages worldwide. That would be up from 17 million last year." Even with the frenzy at Fedex, nearly half of all shoppers haven't even started their holiday shopping yet, according to a new poll by The NPD Group. Marshal Cohen of NPD: SOUNDBITE: MARSHAL COHEN, CHIEF INDUSTRY ANALYST, THE NPD GROUP, INC. (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The majority of shoppers actually shop last minute." This year, "last minute" shipping and shopping coincides with another deadline- the end of the year fiscal cliff. So far, Cohen says it's had little impact on consumer spending. SOUNDBITE: MARSHAL COHEN, CHIEF INDUSTRY ANALYST, THE NPD GROUP, INC. (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The fiscal cliff is one of those distractions that the consumer doesn't really want to pay attention to." What consumers do seem to be paying attention to is themselves. So-called "self-gifting" is an early trend this holiday season, spurred by retailers offering consumers the opportunity to buy one item and get the second one half-off or even free. The surprise growth areas for early holiday business.. footwear, beauty products and sporting goods. SOUNDBITE: MARSHAL COHEN, CHIEF INDUSTRY ANALYST, THE NPD GROUP, INC. (ENGLISH) SAYING: "With technological advances in sporting goods, consumers have said I would love to upgrade my golf clubs or my running shoes." Running shoes that might come in handy for those Fedex workers as they load up their trucks and deliver consumers their goods.