Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Shoppers resist last-minute urges

December 23, 2008

Check Out low shopper turnout just before Christmas.RETAIL-BLACKFRIDAY/

Only 38.7 percent of consumers in a survey were out for some last-minute holiday shopping in the weekend before Christmas — the smallest number in six years, according to the survey conducted by America’s Research Group and UBS.

Traffic was especially weak in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest, which were slammed by winter storms over the weekend. That kept scores of people at home, but those who did venture out seemed to opt for stores that had deep discounts going on.  Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, attracted over two-thirds of consumers, the survey found.

Other results from the survey include:

* 68.5 percent of shoppers are 90 percent or more done with shopping this year, the highest level since 2002.

* A greater number of parents, at 74.8 percent, are finished buying children’s gifts. That’s the highest level since 2003.

*Gift cards as a category are down to 51.5 percent, the lowest level since 2005. Only 11.8 percent of parents said that they bought gift cards for their children this Christmas as there was no “must have” gift. In 2007, that number was 26.3 percent.

Also in the basket:

Emerging market consumers hurting with rest of the world

Wine: Vintage ’08? A mixed case of economy and ecology

Wal-Mart Chile bid for D&S seen successful

A not-so-jolly season for eBay – WSJ



I think the last-minute shopping will be decreased this year, due to the already known factors: economy, people that lost thousands of dollars in the depreciation of their homes, foreclosures, high-credit card debits, etc.

To add an extra factor, a heavy winter, with an always increasing Energy Bills. There is a poll opened over, polling about this extra factor: heavy winter.



There will be no last minute shopping for me. There is now sense of throwing caution, or money for that matter, to the wind this year. And we are stable financially, at the moment. I can only imagine those who aren’t.


I have tightened my purse strings indefinitely. Dont want to spend on anything other than planned shopping.



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