Report: Consumers shopping more, spending more

Charleston, S.C. More consumers shopped at stores in February, according to the findings of the latest Consumer Mind Reader survey released today by America’s Research Group (ARG) and UBS.

A strong Presidents’ Day weekend was largely responsible with 31.0% of consumers shopping this year, compared with 24.3% a year ago, the report said.

Of those who shopped on Presidents’ Day weekend, 34.5% said they spent more this year while only 24.2% said they spent less. A year ago, 84.0% of shoppers said they were driven by deep sales discounts. That number has dropped to 67.5% in 2010.

“While consumers don’t feel the economy is much better than in early January, they are now shopping more,” said C. Britt Beemer, CEO and founder of ARG. “At the same time, consumers are still working on paying off debts saying that gas prices and home heating bills are making them spend less.”

A year ago, 25.2% had delayed a purchase of $500 or more in February, while 22.0% have done so this February. “Although 22.0% is still a big number, it is an improvement from last year’s huge 25.2% level,” Beemer said.

The survey revealed that in two months’ time, Americans have shifted their attitudes in how they view themselves as shoppers. Almost a third (29.9%) said they are cutting back spending due to debt, according to the report.

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