Holidays May Not Be Merry for Retailers

An overwhelming 82 percent of shoppers surveyed by America’s Research Group say their holiday shopping budgets will be less or equal to their spending from last year.

“Retailers better be worried about Christmas,” Britt Beemer, president of America’s Research Group, said in an interview. “If half of Americans believe it is going to be worse before it gets better, they may not be too excited about buying much this Christmas season… This is not the kind of number that retailers want to have going into November 1 or they are going to be in big trouble. They are going to have to give consumers better deals earlier.”

Consumer purchases make up nearly 70 percent of the U.S. economy, according to Reuters, adding that the survey showed 51 percent of participants are not feeling more optimistic about their personal budgets as compared to a year ago.

“The holiday selling season is vital for U.S. retailers as many of them make as much as a third of their annual sales in that period,” Reuters continues. “Fewer pay raises, falling home values, rising prices for food and other goods, and political gridlock in Washington are all taking a toll on Americans, Beemer said.”

Around 68 percent those who responded also stated they now buy at dollar stores, and 42 percent felt dollar stores provided better deals than budget-friendly chain Wal-Mart.

“The telephone survey of 1,000 consumers was conducted September 6-8 and has an error factor of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points,” adds Bloomberg.

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