Mountain View, CA—Nov. 5, 2015—FusionOps, a supply chain insights company, released a new survey gauging Americans’ reactions should retailers run out of hot holiday gifts and the potential havoc such shortages could wreak on the holiday. Forty-five percent of Americans say that the most likely result of holiday gift shortages would be temper tantrums and that a shortage of smartphones would cause the biggest problems for consumers during the holiday season (36 percent). Almost one in four (23 percent) Americans would be willing to play dirty if that’s what it took to walk out of a store with the last hot holiday gift. This was especially true of students age 18+ (36 percent) and parents with children under age 18 in the household (37 percent) compared to those with no children under age 18 in the household (16 percent).
What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
Some Americans think that the most likely result of a holiday gift shortage is temper tantrums (45 percent). Interestingly, students age 18+ predict this—and other repercussions—more vigorously than parents do:
Which of the following could result from a holiday gift shortage?*
Students Age 18+ Parents of children under age 18
Temper tantrums 61 percent 44 percent
Crying 54 percent 43 percent
Spoiled Christmas Day 56 percent 31 percent
Fights 49 percent 32 percent
Increased burglaries 27 percent 22 percent
Cold shoulders 25 percent 15 percent
Kids threatening to run away 17 percent 10 percent
Whether or not the students age 18+ were predicting their own reactions to holiday gift shortages cannot be deduced from the data.*Not all responses shown
When asked who should be held responsible if family fights break out as a result of a holiday gift shortage, if there is one, Americans readily pointed the finger at manufacturers (37 percent), followed by retail stores (27 percent) and, in a distant third place, parents (13 percent).
“Predicting the future is hard, no doubt, but with so many technology advancements surrounding consumers today, they are less forgiving and more frustrated with manufacturers that can’t anticipate possible shortages,” said Gary Meyers, CEO of FusionOps. “For businesses serious about brand reputation and customer loyalty, it is time to leverage the massive amount of business data to mitigate risk and maximize the sales opportunity that comes only once per year.”
When asked which hot holiday gift shortage would cause the biggest problem for consumers this holiday season, 36 percent of Americans name smartphones. Twenty-nine percent feel the biggest problem would be caused by video game shortages such as Guitar Hero Live, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and Star Wars Battlefront; 28 percent cite a tablet shortage; 24 percent say Star Wars toys; and 22 percent say smart watches.
Age 18+ and Parents with Children under Age 18 Most Likely to Play Dirty for Christmas Toys
Twenty-three percent of Americans say they’d be willing to behave unethically if it meant leaving a retail store with the last hot holiday gift. This number was highest among students age 18+ (36 percent), parents of children under age 18 (37 percent compared to 16 percent among those with no children under age 18) and the employed (29 percent)—only 16 percent of unemployed Americans would be willing to behave unethically to score the last hot holiday gift.
Twenty-seven percent of students age 18+ and 17 percent of parents with children under age 18 say they’d be willing to lie to other shoppers (compared to 7 percent of parents with no children under age 18); 14 percent of students age 18+ and 16 percent of parents with children under age 18 would be willing to cut in line (compared to 8 percent of parents with no children under age 18); and 13 percent of students age 18+ and 8 percent of parents with children under age 18 would be willing to knock an adult down (compared to 3 percent of parents with no children under age 18).
Nine percent of students age 18+ and 8 percent of parents admit they would even be willing to push over a child if it meant leaving with the last hot holiday gift (compared to 2 percent of parents with no children under age 18).
Can the President Help Santa Claus?
Forty percent of Americans and 51 percent of Millennials believe that one of the current presidential candidates is in a position to ensure there won’t be a holiday gift shortage of the items they want to buy. When asked which 2016 candidate who, if they were President today, would be best at ensuring there won’t be a shortage, 20 percent say Donald Trump would be best at this, while 12 percent of general respondents (17 percent of Millennials) put their faith in Hillary Clinton. While the general respondents put less faith in Bernie Sanders on this front (7 percent), more Millennials (14 percent) think President Sanders would do an adequate job of ensuring hot gifts make it home for the holidays.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of FusionOps from October 15 to 19, 2015 among 2,014 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.