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NPD Retail Outlook Reveals Holiday Spending Habits
Oct 30, 2009
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Thirty percent of consumers plan to spend less this holiday, yet those who will spend, will only spend 4% more than last year, says NPD's Holiday Retail Outlook.

"That 4% increase is certainly a sign of the times. On the other hand, that 4 percent is not as dramatic as it could have been," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. "I think consumers will be looking for the right gift, rather than the most extravagant or expensive one. That combined with the soft numbers we are up against from holiday last year, and I think we will see growth, albeit a modest 0.5 to 1.5%."

The survey results also point to a return of more gifts being made of sweaters, fragrances, music, books, movies, and wallets, again, said Cohen. "We are also seeing make-up and TV’s showing signs of growth. Other standouts are notebooks/netbooks. They have been growing and will continue to grow through the holiday."

In addition, the survey results show some upward movement in consumer purchasing intentions for accessories, music, and fragrances. The number of consumers saying they will purchase those as gifts for holiday has shifted. Accessories moved up one spot from seventh to sixth this year, music was up one spot from eighth to seventh and fragrances moved up one spot to ninth this year.
For the electronics categories overall, the NPD Holiday Survey shows a 20% rise in the 18 to 24 year old demographic saying electronics are the gift to purchase.

What will motivate consumers to purchase this holiday? The survey results point to value as a primary motivator this year. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents stated value plays a big role in determining what and where they buy.

When will consumers begin their shopping? NPD says this year there was a 3% change in the number of consumers saying they will begin their holiday shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend or later. The number of consumers that said they would begin their shopping in early December or at the last minute posted an 8% change.

In addition, almost 50% of consumers told NPD that the state of the economy will have a significant effect on their holiday spending.

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