Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Early Holiday Shopping Numbers Cause Confusion

Posted by: Christina Dove

After Thanksgiving is when most people decide to start chipping away at their holiday shopping list. With the struggling economy many economists believed that people would be cutting back on spending this holiday season and spending more money at less expensive stores, such as Walmart. On the one hand, the International Council of Shopping Centers projected holiday sales would rise 1 percent to 2percent, and its survey suggested consumers will boost spending on gifts this year but will cut down on gift cards. However, we are determining that this is not the case.

The data complied so far this holiday season is conflicting and inconclusive about America's holiday spending tendencies this holiday season. We expect the sales to be about the same as last year, since we are still in the midst of an economic crisis. Black Friday lived up to its expectations and was one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Lines were long and businesses experienced a spike in sales that helped to make up for the lagging retail market.

Based on the numbers complied after Black Friday, The National Retail Federation estimated that the amount of money spent per shopper was $343.31, a decrease of 8 percent from last year’s $372.57. The NRF said this season’s shoppers stuck to their lists and bought only small-ticket items. This is to be expected as people have much less expendible income to spend on expensive and extravagant gifts. To conclude, we will have to wait until after the holiday season to truely appreciate how deveasting the economic crisis is on holiday shopping and consumer spending.


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