Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Honey, OK if I buy this $300 gadget?


money1Check out how the recession has redefined what “major purchase” means to American consumers.

Three times the number of consumers said “yes” compared with “no” when asked if they need to discuss a purchase of $250 to $300 with their spouse or partner to determine if they can afford it, according to a survey by It was the first time “yes” topped “no” at that price level.

For many years, the definition of such a purchase that required consultation has been an item costing $500 or more, according to the survey.
“This is the most significant change in the retail business over the last 15 years,” Britt Beemer, founder and CEO of America’s Research Group (ARG), said in a statement. “It’s the first time we’ve seen this kind of basic redefinition over many years of conducting consumer research.”
One thousand consumers were surveyed by telephone on Dec. 5-6 and the poll has an error factor of plus or minus 3.8 percent. 

American consumers are pulling back everywhere it seems as ARG said on Monday another survey showed an unusually low number of consumers plan to shop in the post-holiday week.
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