Thursday, December 14, 2006

US holiday sales forecast not upbeat

CNNMoney reports that holiday shopping in the US is expected to accrue lower results than earlier expected as shoppers are holding out for better sales combined with a lack of a "must-have" item. Shoppers are even likely to wait until after Christmas to shop with lowe prices. According to Britt Beemer, Chairman and Founder of America's Research Group, comparable store sales are likely to rise only 2.7% down from the earlier forcast of 3.1%. He added "I'm lowering my forecast because I don't think retailers are going to wake up in time and I don't think the consumer is going spend their money foolishly."

According to the group's latest poll, 75.3 percent of Americans said that they have not purchased any winter apparel for themselves in December, while 58.6 percent have not purchased any as gifts.

The survey found that 26.5 percent of Americans plan to wait until after Christmas to buy items for themselves or as gifts, double the amount who planned to wait until after Christmas to shop in 2002, Beemer said.

The survey of 800 Americans on Saturday and Sunday also found that 30.9 percent of consumers found stores less decorated this holiday season, and 23.9 percent noticed that stores were playing less Christmas music. Lower levels of staff in stores have driven 22.6 percent to leave without buying, up from 20.9 percent last year.

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