Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Shoppers to use more cash, less credit

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card1Check out the expected higher use of cash and debit cards this holiday shopping season by debt-weary American consumers.

Credit cards are losing their appeal as 28.3 percent of U.S. shoppers said they plan to use that method of payment most often this holiday season, down from 31.5 percent last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation and BIGresearch.

Meanwhile, those intending to use cash most often rose to 24.9 percent from 22.8 percent last year, while debit card/check card use increased 1 percentage point to 42.5 percent, according to the survey.

“With many holiday shoppers focused on spending within their limits, it’s no surprise that fewer people will be relying on credit cards this year,” NRF CEO Tracy Mullin said in a statement.

“Why THANK you! I just LOVE this knitted cell-phone cover!”

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SYRIA/If you’re spending the holidays baking cookies and brushing up on your needlepoint and macrame, you’re not alone. Some 14 percent of Americans are opting for home-made gifts this year, according to a holiday shopping poll from Consumer Reports.

But if canning okra isn’t quite your thing, you may be altering your spending habits in other ways, the poll found. Spending limits on gifts are now de rigueur, and some 37 percent of families have set them as a way to cut down on unnecessary purchases in tight financial times. 

Drift to thrift

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As the economy founders and the ranks of unemployed grow, shoppers are embracing their inner thrift.

According to a new survey of 1,500 U.S. adults from WSL Strategic Retail, 52 percent of respondents agreed with this statement: “I’m proud of all the little ways I’ve found to save money.”

More than half of the participants were using more coupons and reading store circulars more closely. Sixty-two percent said they are more likely to wait for a sale before making a purchase.

Cut up those credit cards and stop splurging!

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creditcard1.jpgAs turmoil rages on Wall Street, ING sent its customers an email message on Tuesday, thanking them for their business and giving them some tips on navigating the tough environment.

The best course of action for our Customers is to be disciplined: avoid splurging; identify and cut out unnecessary expenses and save for what’s essential; and hedge against those tough times.

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