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Shoppers Increase Holiday Spending

Through the week ending Dec. 19, NPD Group reports an increase in the number of shoppers. According to NPD, 68 percent of U.S. consumers went shopping at brick and mortar retailers, as opposed to 67 percent the prior week. Retail channels that saw greates

Through the week ending Dec. 19, NPD Group reports an increase in the number of shoppers. According to NPD, 68 percent of U.S. consumers went shopping at brick and mortar retailers, as opposed to 67 percent the prior week.

Retail channels that saw greatest increase were in the sporting goods channel (up 37 percent), book stores (up 28 percent), shoe chain stores (up 28 percent) and footwear specialty stores (up 19 percent). General merchandise retailers also saw an increase. The retail channels where consumers shopped most were grocery and drug stores. NPD also says shoppers have decreased their online shopping for that same reported week, overall. Online share of buying visits decreased one point last week, with a 16.4 percent share. Electronic online stores, however, were up 3 percentage points, and online toy stores increased 1 percentage share.

“Brick and mortar shopping is expected to have a strong finish and be even stronger post holiday period,” says Marshal Cohen, chief analyst for The NPD Group. “Consumers are seeking deals all season, and the deals are just now starting to shape up for some more dramatic discounts without the crazy hours to get them.”

In the U.K. however, Verdict Research reports that, according to a survey on Christmas spending which concluded Dec. 18, that spending is more reserved.

“Though six out of 10 consumers expect to spend more this year, price is still the key consideration when buying gifts, with 64.8 percent of respondents mentioning it,” says Carly Syme, analyst for Verdict Research. “With squeezed disposable incomes, consumers want to ensure they are getting as much as they can for their money and with such a focus on price through big discounts and promotions offered by retailers, it is not surprising it has come out as the top factor. Wide choice comes in second with 42.9 percent mentioning it.”

Further Verdict research reports that a majority of U.K. consumers will choose to finance holiday spending with cash and through their regularly salary versus using credit cards. Planned credit purchases are down to 18.3 percent in 2011 from 21.1 percent last year.

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