Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: A return of jolly holiday shoppers?

November 16, 2009

men-shoppingCheck out the latest survey about holiday spending.

American Express found that 10 percent of consumers actually expect to spend more on holiday gifts versus last year, while 43 percent plan to spend about the same as they did in 2008.
The third monthly online American Express Spending & Saving Tracker asked 2,011 adults about the economy, what they plan to spend on and what motivates them to spend or save.
When given the choice, only 13 percent said they have a “gloomy” attitude going into the holiday season, while 41 percent said they were “joyful.”

Most were feeling a bit generous, with 63 percent planning on some type of charitable giving over the holidays, even though 54 percent said that they would be cutting back on how many gifts they buy due to the economy.

So, who shouldn’t expect a gift this year?  If consumers have to shut someone out of their gift giving to save, co-workers are the first to go, then service workers such as postal carriers, hair and nail stylists, followed by extended family and friends.

Most consumers, 79 percent, said they plan to use the Internet to help out with holiday shopping, whether that’s actually buying or just researching what to shop for.  Only 45 percent said they would buy online.
The hot items? Gift cards, clothing and accessories, and then toys and games.
Shoppers said they expect to spend the most on techie gifts, followed by gift cards.
Seventy percent said discounts would be the main driver to get them to buy within the next 30 days. 
Also in the basket:

Lowe’s profit falls 30 percent

U.S. retail sales rose faster than expected in October

First U.S. marijuana cafe opens in Portland

At Checkout, More Ways to Avoid Cash or Plastic (New York TImes)

(Reuters photo)


I have a feeling the results would be significantly different if Visa or MasterCard did the same survey.


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