Stockings To Be Stuffed Lighter This Year

Oct 05, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A new study from The NPD Group says there may be less cheer in the air for retailers this upcoming holiday season as 90 percent of consumers plan on spending the same or less on gifts than they did last year.

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for NPD, said consumers are being cautious, waiting for the economy to heat up and the job market to strengthen. The high price paid at the pump for gas is also cutting into what people feel they can spend.

“I’m heading into the holiday season with 500 fewer dollars in my pocket. Now, am I feeling warm and fuzzy about spending? No,” he told Reuters.

Consumers’ concern over their personal finances should spell fairly strong sales for discounters, said Mr. Cohen. Seventy-two percent of respondents to The NPD Group study plan to shop in discount stores for the holidays.

Moderator’s Comment: How do you expect this year’s holiday sales season to pan out? If you’re a retailer, does research such as that from The NPD Group
alter how you approach the upcoming holiday season?

The one demographic opportunity retailers may have for building sales is with consumers in the 18-24 year old age group. According to NPD’s research, consumers
in this segment plan to spend an average of $537 on gifts, up from $366 last year.

George Anderson – Moderator

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