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Reports Predict Holiday Cheer for Retailers


Woburn, Mass., Two different reports point to a promising 2006 holiday shopping for retailers. A recent Prospectiv Consumer Preference Index (CPI) survey found that 68% of consumers surveyed expect to spend more or the same in 2006 when compared to 2005.

Opportunities for on-line sales are also looking favorable this year. In fact, 19% surveyed expect to make more on-line purchases in 2006. Similar to the findings of Prospectiv's 2005 CPI poll on holiday shopping, the majority of consumers (73%) in 2006 will rely on the Internet to research and compare prices and varieties of holiday products and gifts (up from 71% in 2005).

Top reasons consumers conduct holiday shopping on line include convenience (47%) and avoiding crowds (18%) with better deals coming in third (15%). About 56% of consumers said free shipping would be the top motivator to persuade them to spend more of their holiday dollars on line. <p In other findings, gift-givers are expected to spend a total of $949 on Christmas gifts this year, up 9.1% from the average of $870 spent last year, according to a survey conducted by Unity Marketing. About 69% of gift-givers surveyed say they plan on shopping at discounters this year, down from 78% who planned to shop discount in 2005. The survey also said that about one-third of shoppers have already started their holiday gift shopping and have spent on average just under $300 so far on Christmas 2006 gifts. This is 16% more than they had spent through the same period last year.

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