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PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The NPD Group here is projecting that more people will shop online this year than last year, and that books and DVDs are declining in popularity as gifts.

The research firm last week said that its annual holiday spending survey of more than 3,600 consumers found that 38% said they expected to shop online this holiday season, vs. 35% who planned to shop online a year ago. Only 51% said they plan to shop at discount stores like Kmart, Wal-Mart and Target, the survey found, vs. 54% last year.

“Discounters are likely to be the most challenged retailers,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, NPD Group, who said consumers are still looking for value but are willing to pay a little bit more for the right product. “[Discounters] will have to work very aggressively to lure shoppers in early and often with sales and name brands for less.”

Additionally, 20% of survey respondents said they planned to buy books as gifts this holiday season, compared with 23% who planned to do so last year, and only 19% of respondents said they planned to buy movies or DVDs, vs. 24% a year ago. Clothing and toys remained the most popular gifts, at 43% and 31%, respectively, similar to year-ago levels.