Slight uptick in holiday spending plans


PollAccording to a new PriceGrabber survey, 54% of American consumers are planning to spend in excess of $500 on the holidays this year, representing a slight increase over results reported a year ago. Online spending will be a big part it.

Online is in the plans of three out of four consumers; so too are discount stores.

Shopping venues of choice:
* 75%: online
* 74%: discount stores
* 49%: department stores
* 41%: local independent retailers
* 36%: electronic stores
* 24%: clothing stores
* 9%: luxury department stores

“The start of the holiday shopping season has been very competitive with retailers vying for shoppers’ attention by offering aggressive promotions,” said PriceGrabbers’s Rojeh Avanesian. We anticipate retailers will continue to offer very strong promotions and incentives in November and December to move products, increase consumer visits, and boost sales.”

Here is the current snapshot of gift categories that figure in spending plans:
* 65%: clothing
* 49%: gift cards
* 41%: books, CD, DVDs, video games
* 40%: toys
* 29%: shoes
* 29%: hobby items
* 28%: jewelry
* 24%: food or candy
* 21%: sporting goods
* 17%: cosmetics, spa packages, beauty-related gifts

Consumers are split as to when the best deals will be available, but the consensus is certainly that the best time to save money will be after Thanksgiving. “Most consumers only have a certain amount of money to spend this holiday season, and our survey findings indicate that more than half of respondents expect to find great bargains during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” added Avanesian.

RBR-TVBR observation: Your local clients need to get on the air early and often. The way we see it, there are two things they need to do: Provide a compelling reason for local consumers to visit their store rather than some website, and also, get consumers to visit their own website. The last thing local retailers need is to see the finite amount of consumer cash available in the market going to some company located in a distant location. Your job: Make them understand just how important it will be to convey this message over your air space.