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Friday, November 23, 2012 - Page updated at 07:00 p.m.

Shoppers in it for themselves this holiday season

By Corilyn Shropshire
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — It looks like this Black Friday, some consumers are putting themselves at the top of their holiday shopping lists.

More consumers will be filling shopping carts with items for themselves as they hit the stores this holiday season, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

Just less than 60 percent of shoppers will spend about $140 on "nongift items" but instead use immediately.

Self-gifting is "bigger than ever this year," climbing 15 percent from 2004, according to National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis. "I have no doubt that we will see people treat themselves because prices are so low," she said.

Southerners will do the most self-gifting this year, with 61 percent of shoppers below the Mason-Dixon Line buying nongift items for themselves and their households this holiday season. Midwesterners trail the pack, with 57 percent planning to self-gift, compared with 59 percent of residents of Northeastern states and 58 percent of Western staters.

The majority of self-gifters fall into the prime shopping demographic: between the ages of 18 and 34. Those least likely to spend on themselves this year are age 65 and older.

Most nongift items include big-ticket items such as TVs and laptops. "I don't think there's too many people out there that are waiting hours in line for a laptop or television and immediately gift it to someone else," said Michael Brim, founder of website BFAds.net.

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