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Survey: Shopper Behavior Responding to Economy


New York City Plenty of headlines will be generated from the “Big Show” – the National Retail Federation’s 98th Annual Convention and Expo at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, Jan. 12 to Jan. 14.

On Monday morning at NRF, Atlanta-based Miller Zell released the results of its 2009 Shopper Behavior Survey.

Miller Zell surveyed 801 shoppers just before the Christmas holiday to determine if the economy was impacting male and female shoppers differently.

“As economic conditions change rapidly, it is important that retailers and manufacturers continue to have their finger on the pulse of changing shopper behavior,” said Steven Skinner, Miller Zell VP of consumer products. “Our survey indicated unexpected divergence in shopping behavior by gender and wage. We believe this holds great importance for how retailers and manufacturers design their stores and market their products to consumers in mass media and inside of the store.”

The survey offered up actionable insights for retailers struggling to survive the economic storm. Key findings include:


  • Pre-planning is way up. This coupled with a big increase in Internet research indicate shoppers are coming to the retail store more armed than ever with knowledge of pricing, product capabilities and competitor products;


  • Wage earners exceeding $100K were far more negative about the economy than all other wage-earning categories;


  • Females are drivers of tighter fiscal discipline in the household including the reduction of family night out; and


  • The general trend across age, gender and income was to reduce spending, trade down and brand switch to private-label product.

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