Holiday shopping predicted to increase with caution


Online survey producer Zoomerang says that both small-to-midsized retailers and consumers are expressing a lack of confidence in the economy, but are still ready to spend a little more this holiday season than in 2009, but with a few caveats – many are putting necessities rather than luxuries on their wish lists.

Zoomerang says that consumers indicate they are ready to spend, and retailers are taking the necessary steps to make sure they have things to buy.

“Like many of the retailers, consumers are taking precautionary measures by placing essential items on their wish lists,” said Alex Terry, General Manager of Zoomerang. “In order to make the most of their stretched budgets, the survey suggests that more than half of the people will be searching online for the best deals possible.” 

Zoomerang says that only 36% of consumers will be visiting brick and mortar locations exclusively, with the remaining 64% doing some or all of their shopping on line.

Terry notes that retailers that cut back on inventory and marketing earlier in the year are getting back in the game for the holiday season, with 25% adding inventory, staffing, hours and marketing efforts.

Consumers have scaled back their wish lists, however. Only 25% looked for luxury items in 2009, and only about half of that 25% are looking to do so again. Zoomerang says top wish list categories are clothing, electronics/appliances and books/music/DVD/games at 22%, 17% and 14%, respectively.

Terry suggested smaller companies have an advantage in this type of holiday season. “Compared to large retail chains, the flexibility and nimble nature of small to midsized retailers enables them to adapt quickly to shifts in the market and economy. As a result, these businesses are able to make the most of a cautious holiday spending season.”