Deloitte sees positive holiday shopping signs


PollThe annual survey from Deloitte uncovered some positive trends that it says bode well for retailers. The two key findings: Those that see an economy on the mend is going up, and the percentage planning to cut back on holiday spending is going down.

According to the survey, 50% of consumers say the economy will improve next year, up from 33% at this time a year ago; and only 37% are planning to decrease holiday spending, the lowest results since 2006.

Some say they are waiting for the election results before deciding how much holiday spending they will indulge in, but 50% says the result will make no difference.

Deloitte’s Alison Paul said, “Consumers appear to be turning a corner and are more confident about the economy. Recent improvements in housing, employment and the stock market may have buoyed their spirits, but their optimism is somewhat tempered as they keep an eye on energy costs and possible tax increases. The election may initially distract consumers, but we expect them to give retailers a post-election ‘bounce’ once their attention turns to the holidays and shopping.”

The average planned expenditure has decreased slightly from $395 in 2011 to $386. And continuing the trend of the past few years, a large number of consumers will be bargain hunting.

“Consumers have come to expect value at a good price, and the stakes are high for retailers to keep promotions fresh throughout the season,” continued Paul. “Early holiday messages may take a back seat while the election dominates the airwaves, giving retailers one more reason to play their digital channels’ strengths this year. Online and mobile channels can more precisely target customers, and at a lower cost than traditional media. Additionally, retailers can adjust more easily throughout the season—fine tuning promotions and introducing new ones online.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Sandy has had a dampening effect on much of the east coast, to the extreme, and one has to wonder if it will dampen holiday spending as well. A lot of people in the storm’s path may be spending money, but it might not be on gifts.