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NRF decreases festive season consumer spending forecast
The last few months have been tough on the pockets of consumers and no-one is expecting a significant rise in consumer spending this festive season. The National Retail Federation has revised holiday retail sales forecasts to show a decrease in spend compared to last year.
Consumers will spend less on gifts and seasonal goods this Christmas, according to the NRF's 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. The average spend is forecast to be $14 less than last year at $704.18.
An earlier report by the NRF forecast a 2.8% rise in holiday retail sales compared with 2010. That rise, says Kathy Grannis, director of media relations at the NRF, would still be experienced because consumers also plan to bag themselves a bargain or two while holiday promotions are in full swing.
"It's easy for consumers to set a budget when it comes to gift-giving," said Grannis. "But the hard part is passing up a discounted item you're in need of. The holiday season is the best time to buy what you need because of the expected deals."
The average shopper will spend around 36% of their holiday budget online rising to 43.7% among 25 - 34 year olds, says the NRF. Over half of smartphone owners will use their device to aid gift shopping. Around a third (31%) will use their smartphone to research and compare prices while 14.1% will make purchases from their device.
Tablet owners are more likely to use their device to help out during the holiday shopping frenzy. Nearly three-quarters (71%) plan to research and shop using their tablet. Over half will use their device to research and compare prices and 34.8% intend to purchase a gift using their tablet
"Mobile and online shopping provide a completely different level of convenience for holiday shoppers," said Grannis. "For some it's a great way to not only comparison shop and find the best deal, but it's a great way to keep a set budget."
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