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Survey: Holiday spending same or less, compared with 2010


Los Angeles — A survey released Monday by PriceGrabber, a part of Experian, found that consumers plan to spend the same or less on 2011 holiday shopping.

According to the survey, 45% of consumers intend to spend less money during the 2011 winter holiday shopping season than they did in 2010. Forty-nine percent of consumers will spend the same amount that they spent last year, and only 7% plan to spend more this year.

Conducted from Sept. 7–15, 2011, the survey includes responses from 3,070 U.S. online shopping consumers.

The survey also found that 53% of shoppers plan to start holiday shopping earlier this year, while 68% of shoppers said the economic climate will affect their overall spending. When shoppers who indicated that they plan to spend less in 2011 were asked to cite all of the reasons why, 70% attributed their decision to an increase in prices for food, gas and other necessities. Forty-nine percent said they planned to spend less due to an increased acceptance of purchasing less-expensive gifts, 46% cited a lack of confidence in the economy, 43% indicated that they are earning less money this year, and 37% said that the value of their homes and savings has been reduced.

Of those consumers who indicated that they will spend more this holiday season compared with last year, 27% attributed their decision to better prices on gifts, 25% said they are making more money this year, 14% said they have confidence in the economy, 7% are tired of being frugal, and another 5% have found employment in the past year.

Given the still uncertain economic climate, shoppers appear to be confident in their ability to find a holiday bargain. According to PriceGrabber's survey, 70% of consumers said they believe retailers will offer better prices and discounts this year due to the current state of the economy. When asked what retailer tactics will entice consumers to buy a product this holiday season, 75% of respondents indicated price cuts and free shipping, followed by coupons and blowout shopping sales.

"Our survey data found that shoppers are not only expecting to find great prices and bargains this holiday season, but 53% will start shopping earlier this year to spread out the impact of purchases, and 33% are beginning their holiday shopping in October," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. "This finding implies that consumers are strategizing to capitalize on the holiday sales that appear to begin earlier in the season each year, as we just recently saw with the back-to-school shopping season.”

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