Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Snowstorm doesn’t drive shoppers online

December 21, 2009

SHOPPERS2Check out how the East Coast’s weekend snowstorm might not have been a boon to online shoppers.

A survey of 1,000 U.S. shoppers over the weekend found that the convenience of shopping from the warmth of their homes and the bask of their computer screens was not enough to lure them away from bricks and mortar stores even in whiteout conditions.

The survey was conducted Dec. 19-20 by America’s Research Group and UBS and found that about 57 percent of Americans were spending about as much on holiday gifts online this year, but about a quarter were spending less. Only about one fifth were ramping up their spending.

Part of what may have curbed online sites from picking up more business has to do with timing and service, ARG’s CEO Britt Beemer told Reuters: “As you get closer and closer to Christmas, people get worried whether if what they ordered on line will be delivered in time for Christmas.”  And people still like to touch things before buying them and the communal feeling of shopping, Beemer said, meaning online retail has a way to go to drawing even shoppers facing gigantic snowstorms.

Also in the basket:

Walgreen tops view, store comments weigh on shares

ConAgra profit beats Street; year outlook raised

(Photo: Reuters)

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