Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Shoppers resist last-minute urges
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:
A not-so-jolly season for eBay – WSJ