Holiday Spending Survey Is Bad News For Retailers

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UTICA, N.Y.—A recent survey is bad news for retailers. While holiday consumer spending was weak in 2008 due to poor economic conditions, the situation might not be any better this year.

Forty-nine percent of Americans say they and their families plan to spend less on holiday shopping this year, according to a recent Zogby Interactive survey. Just 9 percent say they plan to spend more than they did in 2008, and another 40 percent say they plan to spend the same amount.

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Other poll results included:
• Fifty-eight percent of Americans say they plan to spend $500 or less in total holiday spending.

• Fifty-two percent of U.S. adults have set specific holiday shopping budgets. Of those who have set budgets, 92 percent say they have been successful staying within their pre-set spending limits.

• Seventy-two percent of those with budgets say they have not purchased a gift because it would put them over budget.

• Twenty-eight percent say they set aside funds during the year for holiday gift buying.

• When given the hypothetical of what they would do if they found the perfect gift for someone, but it would put them over budget, 40 percent of those with budgets said they would buy it anyway, 35 percent would pass on another gift to stay on budget and 20 percent would return another already purchased gift to make room for the new gift.

This interactive survey of 3,072 adults nationwide was conducted Dec. 8-10, 2009.  A sampling of Zogby International’s online panel, which is representative of adult Americans, was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 1.8 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.


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