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Recession creates holiday shopping trends

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Los Angeles A new survey by PriceGrabber.com, a division of Experian, has found that new holiday shopping behaviors will emerge from the downturn.

The survey, Holiday Forecast Consumer Behavior Report, released on Monday found that 70% of consumers are researching and comparison-shopping online. That compares with 38% last year

Consumers are shortening their gift-giving lists, deleting acquaintances (57%) and coworkers (53%).

Other findings include: 53% of consumers plan to spend less this holiday season. Of those who are planning to spend less this year, 48% said that one of the reasons that they are spending less is due to an increase in prices (necessities, gas, etc.); 45% cite lack of confidence in the economy; and 38% indicate making less money as a reason for spending less.

Shopping starts earlier to ease the impact of holiday spending -- 22% of those surveyed start their holiday shopping in October; 29% plan to start shopping in November.

When it comes to holiday spending this year, 36% expect to spend $100 to $499; 28% plan to spend $500 to $999; and 30% anticipate a holiday spend of $1,000 or more.

Consumers are using more money-saving techniques -- 50% shop at discount or outlet stores, compared to 43% last year. Twenty-nine percent are planning to purchase gifts for fewer people this year, while only 10% did so last year.

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