According to the survey, one third (33 percent) of respondents plan to spend less than last year. The majority of consumers (56 percent) plan to spend about the same as they did in 2001. "We will be seeing a very cautious consumer this holiday season," said Phil Rist, Vice President, Strategy for BIGresearch.
Taking into account the current economic indicators, impulse purchases and additional promotional activity, NRF predicts total holiday sales will increase 4.0 percent over last year’s registered GAFS sales of $201 billion.
Forty percent of consumers say sales or price discounts are the most important factors when choosing a retailer. Selection also remains a key factor as 24 percent of consumers say that selection of merchandise is important when choosing where to shop.
Most consumers (77 percent) will shop at discount department stores followed by traditional department stores (53 percent), Internet (46 percent), specialty retailers (45 percent) and catalog (37 percent). The survey found that more than half (55 percent) of those surveyed say they plan to take advantage of sales or price discounts during the holiday season to make additional non-gift purchases for themselves.
Books, CDs, DVDs and video games were the top choice for receiving (53 percent), followed closely by clothing and fashion accessories (51 percent). Gift cards and gift certificates (41 percent) will also be very popular this year. Other popular categories included consumer electronics or computer-related items (39 percent), home décor or home-related furnishings (25 percent) and jewelry or precious metal accessories (23 percent).
"We expect pent-up demand for apparel and electronics to play a strong role during the 2002 Holiday season." said Rist
Note: NRF defines "holiday retail sales" as sales in November and December for retail stores in the GAFS category: general merchandise stores, clothing and clothing accessories stores, furniture and home furnishings stores, electronics and appliance stores, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) represents an industry that encompasses more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, employs more than 20 million people, and represents 32 national and 50 state associations in the U.S. as well as 36 international associations representing retailers abroad.
For more information about NRF click here.