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BDO: Trade tensions, economic worries cutting into holiday spending

One in four consumers will spend less due to trade tensions this holiday season. 

Despite the current positive outlook for holiday spending, uncertainty around trade tensions, tariffs and an impending economic downturn may curb receipts this year and create concern for retailers’ bottom lines, according to to BDO’s just-released 2019 Holiday Consumer Beat Survey.

Thirty-four percent of surveyed consumers said they will decrease their holiday spend this year due to an “economic downturn” and 25% will do the same due to trade tensions. 

In other findings, 55% of consumers said a social issue will influence their decision-making for holiday purchases. Tops on the list of issues was sustainability (30%) and diversity (28%). 

Additional results include:

  • Consumers are emerging as retail’s next big competitor set: Seventy-one percent of consumers plan to purchase goods sold by other consumers. And 63% plan to purchase pre-owned goods from a store. 
  • Twenty-two percent of consumers plan to use a voice assistant for holiday shopping this year.
  • For big ticket items, one in three consumers would rather pay in monthly installments than in full.
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