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Holiday retail outlook

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

More than 40% of consumers plan to spend less on gifts this holiday season, and 45% say they are going to spend the same amount as they did in 2006, according to a poll conducted by coupon Web site The firm polled more than 3,500 consumers about their shopping plans for 2007. The most-cited reason for belt-tightening is that consumers are "earning less money" and "have more expenses" this year, CoolSavings says Nov. 13. Interest in spending more declines with age, the firm found; 33% of 18- to 24-year-olds say they will spend more this year, compared with 22% of individuals 25 to 44 years of age and 12.5% of respondents 44 to 54 years of age. Older age groups are more likely to begin shopping in August or earlier; 21% of the 45-54 age cohort and 23% of those age 55 and up will begin to buy then. Last-minute shoppers tend to be younger, reports. Brick-and-mortar stores are still expected to account for the vast majority of gift sales this season, though 59% of shoppers will research at least some of their gifts online. Findings are in line with other researchers' forecasts (2"The Rose Sheet" Nov. 12, 2007, p. 7)...

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