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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 11, 2009

Report: Consumers becoming optimistic about holidays

The holiday spending forecasts are coming in fast and furious now that schools are back in session. While some report another fall in spending, at least one report finds consumers are more optimistic - and therefore may spend more - this holiday season. However, even this forecast isn't filled with joy.

by Kristina Knight

iri.jpgThe report, from Information Resources Incorporated, indicates that shoppers are coming out of the recession and are ready to have a nice holiday season. But, even though consumers are looking forward to the holiday shopping season, most are approaching that season with a strict budget and with thoughts of needs rather than wants.

"While consumers are beginning to awaken from the economic sea change just in time for the beginning of the holidays, they are taking very thoughtful and strategic approaches to their purchasing and are sifting hard through such questions as 'What do I really need?', 'What does my family need?', and 'What can we still live without?'" said IRI Consulting & Innovation President Thom Blischok. "Despite what appears to be a permanence of 'strategic selection,' last year's dismal holiday retail results are being left behind as consumers are slightly more optimistic about the economy and are much more savvy about how they attack their holiday gift and meal list."

The report finds:

• Consumers are still concerned about the price of gas, utilities, jobs and food
• 98% report they will make 'family time' a priority over the holidays
• 90% will make gift-giving a priority
• 92% plan to shop for holiday groceries based on sales, coupons and discounts
• Only 18% plan to shop without a list
• Online shopping is expected to increase by 18%

A recent poll from Harris Interactive/ING Direct found similar results. More than half of those respondents reported they would spend at least $300 over the holidays, most reported they would think about the cost of gifts and nearly half (41%) reported they would be saving rather than spending over the holiday season.

Tags: Harris Interactive, holiday shopping, holiday spend, holidays, INC, Information Resources, online shopping

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