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Macerich Survey Looks at Last Minute, Post-Holiday Buying Trends; Holiday-ology Reveals Whether Shoppers Staying on Budget, Getting Y2K Ready

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Although less than 10 percent of shoppers this year are hoping for computer equipment under the tree, the majority of shoppers believe Bill Gates' shopping list would be the best list to be on, according to Santa Monica, CA-based Macerich Company's (NYSE: MAC) follow-up 1999 Holiday-ology survey.

Conducted over December 16 - 19, the second holiday shopping survey asked 4,500 mall shoppers nationwide about shopping patterns for the final holiday shopping rush of the millennium. The survey showed that overall 35.2% of shoppers wish Bill Gates would add them to his holiday shopping list, while more females prefer Rosie O'Donnell (29.6%) and more males favor Shania Twain (14.9%).

"Each year with Holiday-ology, we conduct a follow-up survey to monitor changes in shopping patterns between early and last minute shoppers," said Susan Valentine, senior vice president and director of marketing for Macerich. "This year is particularly interesting because we are also looking at shopping trends in preparation for the new millennium."

Shoppers this year will not only have to decide on holiday gifts; millennium shopping is also important. Almost 80% of those surveyed agreed they would make a purchase in preparation for New Year's Eve, with 41.8% opting to buy food and decorations for a New Year's party and 9.4% taking precautions by buying Y2K emergency kits.

Macerich conducted the first 1999 Holiday-ology survey the weekend of Thanksgiving and discovered a predicted average budget of $903 for gifts and toys. Although price was the highest driving force in gift-buying decision-making (28.3%), the follow-up survey revealed that 43.8% of shoppers admit to going over their holiday shopping budget.

Well over half (60.1%) of those surveyed predict a post-holiday shopping excursion, with 57.9% being drawn to post-holiday sales. Teenage shoppers are also more likely to head to the malls after Christmas to return gifts or spend gift certificates.

Just over 78% of shoppers surveyed prefer to shop in department stores and national retail stores, while 14% of shoppers prefer specialty shops and 4.6% prefer carts and kiosks in the mall. Only 2.2% of shoppers surveyed prefer shopping on-line and 1% prefer catalog shopping. The first survey revealed that while shoppers are going on-line this year they are using the Internet primarily as a research tool for future mall purchases.

The new survey also shows when it comes to spending quality holiday time with a celebrity, guys would most wish for Jennifer Love Hewitt (44.1%), and females would have a good time with the cast of Ally McBeal (21.4%) or Ricky Martin (20.9%). Older shoppers prefer a more traditional holiday season getting to know Martha Stewart (36.1%).

Random samples of shoppers completed the survey in targeted Macerich properties by answering questions on the Max Trak system of hand held units, an electronic data gathering and analysis tool.

The Macerich Company, which has ownership interest in over 50 malls across the continental United States, is one of the nation's largest owner/operators of regional malls. Founded in 1965, Macerich is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MAC". For more information on Macerich, visit the Macerich web site at www.macerich.com.

SOURCE Macerich Company

CONTACT: Betty Lovell of Lovell Public Relations, 972-788-4511, or pager, 214-910-5296, for Macerich Company; or Susan Valentine of Macerich Company, 310-394-6900/

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