Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Deepening worry lines

May 19, 2008

cash-register.jpgCheck out those furrowed consumer brows.

In April, 24.5 percent of American consumers postponed a major purchase — an item of $500 or more – citing worries over higher gas prices, job security, credit card debt and the wait for a tax refund, according to a survey conducted by America’s Research Group.

That’s a big shift from a year ago, when almost 23 percent delayed a major purchase, saying they “did not want to spend the money right now.”

“This year most consumers did not even try to shop,” said C. Britt Beemer, founder and CEO of ARG. “They just stayed home to save on gas prices.” 

That new consumer mindset is a negative sign for retailers at least into 2009, Beemer said.

Also in the basket:

Lowe’s posts lower net, cuts year forecast

Dillard’s to open only four stores in 2009

 (Photo: Reuters)

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