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Holiday Spirit Prevails as Shoppers Hit the Stores: Consumer Survey Conducted by Kmart and Capital One Shows 80 Percent of Holiday Shoppers Plan to Shop at Discount Retailers This Season
TROY, Mich., Nov 15, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Despite the economic slowdown, shoppers will be out in full force this holiday season, reveals a recent survey conducted by Kmart Corporation (NYSE: KM) and Capital One (NYSE: COF). In fact, they'll spend significantly more time shopping than participating in other holiday activities such as decorating, entertaining or sending cards.

In search of value and convenience, approximately 80 percent of respondents plan to conduct a majority of their holiday shopping at a mass and/or discount retailer. In comparison, only 15 percent of respondents plan to shop at specialty stores and only 5 percent at department stores. While a majority of respondents expressed concern about a limited budget, 60 percent plan to spend the same amount of money that they spent last year.

The Holidays Unwrapped: Survey Findings

The survey results suggest that shoppers are selecting discount retailers for affordable merchandise as well as the convenience of shopping in one location. "The Kmart/Capital One survey establishes that consumers are committed to buying gifts this year, but they are looking for increased value. At a discount retailer, shoppers will find something for everyone on their list at prices they are comfortable with in this slowing economy," said Steve Feuling, senior vice president of marketing for Kmart.

For a majority of survey participants, shopping remains an important holiday tradition, with the average shopper spending up to 10 hours selecting and purchasing gifts. Other interesting survey findings include:

* Electronics and home entertainment items are this year's most sought- after gift items, with anything red, white and blue coming in second

* Americans are feeling charitable this holiday season with more than half of respondents agreeing that they would be more inclined to shop in a store that offered a donation with purchase

* In 75 percent of households, "Mom" continues to conduct the majority of the holiday shopping

* The most difficult people to buy gifts for are the people the respondents know the best -- family members, with dads being the hardest to shop and purchase gifts for and co-workers and friends being the easiest groups

Smart Shopping

Considering that more than half of holiday shoppers polled plan to spend less than $500 on gifts for 6 - 15 people, it is likely that many shoppers will be required to stretch their budgets. Despite intentions to stay on budget and be resourceful in seeking out value and quality, less than 25 percent of survey participants answered that they are "always" successful at staying within their holiday budget parameters.

"Capital One has some great tips on how consumers can manage their holiday spending within their budgets," said Diana Don, director of financial education. "In addition to the following tips, visit our web site [www.capitalone.com ] for more facts and information around holiday shopping."

* Determine the total dollar amount available in your holiday spending budget

* Prepare a list of gift recipients and set a budgeted amount for each person

* Also, list miscellaneous holiday expenses (decorations, cards, etc.) and set a budgeted amount for them

* As you make purchases, save your receipts and track the price paid against your budgeted amount

* Start shopping early in order to spread out your spending (it also exposes you to more sales and relieves the stress associated with approaching holiday deadlines)

* Consider giving homemade gifts such as baked goods, ornaments or hand-written notes in the place of more expensive items; these often mean more to the recipient (after all, it's the thought that counts)

More than 3,500 men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 participated in this online survey conducted by iTracks. Full results from the survey can be found online at ftp://ftp1.bluelight.com in the holiday survey folder.

In 2000, Kmart and Capital One teamed up to launch a new co-branded MasterCard. The Kmart MasterCard combines the exclusivity of private label card benefits along with MasterCard's global acceptance at more than 18 million locations.

Kmart Corporation is a near-$40 billion company that serves all 50 states, the Caribbean Islands and Asia Pacific with more than 2,100 Kmart and Kmart SuperCenter retail outlets. Kmart gives back to the communities it serves through Leaders in Learning, an aggressive corporate giving and community outreach initiative focused on supporting diverse education programs and promoting lifelong learning. Kmart associates also provide their most valuable resource -- time -- every day in their local communities. More information about Kmart is available at the company's e-commerce shopping site www.bluelight.com under the "About Kmart" section.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com ) is a holding company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had 40.1 million customers and $38.5 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 2001. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index.

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SOURCE Kmart Corporation and Capital One Financial Corporation

CONTACT:          Avra Goldstone or Terri Wearsch of Lippe Taylor,
                  +1-212-598-4400, for Kmart Corporation; or Pam Robinson of Capital One
                  Financial Corporation, +1-804-290-6871

URL:              http://www.capitalone.com 
                  http://www.bluelight.com 
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