Shopping_BagsWASHINGTON D.C, Dec 18, 2007 / — If you’ve been treasure hunting in your house and cannot find where your significant other is hiding Christmas gifts, chances are there is actually no treasure trove at all. According to the NRF, one in five men have not started holiday shopping yet.

According to a survey by BIGResearch for the National Retail Federation’s 2007 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, nearly one in five men (19.4%) had yet to begin their holiday shopping, more than women (13.7%) or young adults 18-24 (17.6%).

The same survey recorded that impressive 25 million consumers (11.7%) have completely finished their holiday shopping, but more than 35 million shoppers (16.5%) admit they haven’t even started. Thusfar, the average person has completed about half (52.6%) of his or her shopping, compared to 53.1 percent at this time last year.

And, what is the favorite shopping destination? According to the survey, department stores are expected to be the destination of choice the week before Christmas, as 42.4 percent of shoppers plan to visit those stores to finish up holiday shopping. Other destinations will include discount stores (38.9%), the internet (34.9%), and specialty stores (29.9%).

As for last minute gift ideas, you’ve guessed it – gift cards. The same survey mentioned that less than a third of consumers (30.2%) have already purchased a gift card but sales of the cards are expected to jump this week as procrastinators find themselves running out of time. An earlier holiday survey by BIGresearch for NRF found that gift cards were the most requested gift for the holidays this year.

NRF is forecasting holiday sales to increase four percent over last year, bringing total sales to $474.5 billion. November sales, which were released last week, rose 5.1 percent over last year.