Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Happy days for US retailers this holiday season

The National Retail Federation reports that the average shopper will be spending $800 each this holiday season, according to The National Retail Federation's 2006 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey that is conducted by BIGresearch.com. The survey finds that consumer spending has gone up from $738.11 last year to $791.10 this year. Besides buying gifts for others the survery estimates that consumers will spend an additional $99.22 on things for themselves.
Consumers this year will shop at a variety of destinations for holiday gifts. While discount stores (70.3%) continue to be the most popular holiday shopping location, many people will also be shopping at specialty stores (48.4%), grocery stores (49.3%), drug stores (21.0%), and crafts or fabrics stores (20.5%). Additionally, nearly half (47.1%) of consumers said they plan to shop online this year, up from 36.0 percent three years ago.

This holiday season is likely to bring good news for department stores, as 61.6 percent of shoppers plan to shop there for holiday items, up from 53.1 percent in 2003. Department stores are likely to see much of their traffic from young adults with a whopping 79.1 percent of 18-24 year-olds planning to shop at department stores for holiday merchandise, up from 72.9 percent last year and 65.9 percent in 2004.
Falling gas prices in the past month along with higher sentimental value this year will both show increased levels in spending.

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