Retailers, consumers and prices
Consumers shrug in the face of lean inventory
But consumers don’t exactly seem to be quaking in their boots at the prospects of finding empty racks this Christmas season.
According to the ICSC, with 18 days until Black Friday and 46 shopping days until Christmas, the consumer appears “unfazed” by reports of retailers running low on inventory.
The ICSC and Goldman Sachs’ 2009 Holiday Spending Survey found that 81 percent of consumers said lean inventories are not motivating them to shop earlier than in past seasons.
One culprit behind the nonchalance? Gift cards.
According to the survey, 48 percent of holiday shoppers said that if they can not find the gift item they are looking for, they will buy a gift card.
“It is surprising that consumers are not willing to shop early for holiday gifts to get the best selection,” said Michael Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist. “Bargains seemingly may matter more than selection for the consumer, which is why more consumers this year than in any recent time plan to shop on the day after Thanksgiving (16%) —which now should be dubbed Bargain Friday.”