NRF: Consumers’ holiday spending to rise slightly
Washington, D.C. — Although the uncertain economy is still very much on their minds, Americans will increase holiday spending by approximately 1% this year as they shop less at discounters and focus more on quality and service, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2010 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. While the slow economic recovery is still weighing on shoppers, the results offer “glimmers of hope” for the retail industry, NRF president Matthew Shay said, and suggest that consumers won’t only be focusing on low prices and basic necessities this year.
“Consumers will still shop with the economy in the back of their minds, but we are starting to see shoppers take steps toward a new normal,” Shay stated “As Americans open up their wallets for more discretionary gifts like jewelry or take advantage of sales to buy for themselves, retailers will begin to truly believe that the worst is behind them.”
U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping, a slight rise from last year’s $681.83, the survey found. Nearly 62% of shoppers say the economy will impact their spending, down from last year’s 65.3%.
As in years past, most holiday gift-givers will spend the largest portion of their budget buying gifts for family ($393.55) and friends ($71.45), with much smaller sums spent on co-workers ($18.26) and others ($34.82). Total spending on gifts ($518.08) is expected to rise 2.1% from last year, which is in line with NRF’s 2010 holiday forecast.
As to the factor that will be most important when shopping this holiday season, the majority of shoppers ranked sales or price discounts (41.8%) or everyday low prices (12.7%) as most important. While those factors either declined or remained flat this year, two other categories rose in importance. The number of people who counted customer service as the most important factor rose from 4.4% last year to 5.3% this year, while shoppers who touted quality as the overriding factor rose from 11.8% to 12.7%.
As a potential sign that discretionary gifts may become more popular, 23% of people will ask for jewelry this year, up 10% from last year. Gift cards will remain the most requested holiday gift this year with 57% of people asking for plastic.
In another sign that shoppers feel a bit of breathing room in their budget, the number of people who say they will make a holiday purchase from a discounter dropped from 70.1% last year to 65.1% this year. Popular holiday shopping destinations will include department stores (54.5%), grocery stores (46.7%), the Internet (43.9%) and clothing stores (33.6%).
Mobile devices such as iPhones and Androids are becoming more popular among consumers, and many shoppers plan to use these devices this holiday season to look for gift ideas, compare prices and find items in nearby stores. According to the survey, over one-fourth of American adults with a smartphone (26.8%) will use these devices to research or make holiday purchases, and that number jumps to 45% among young adults 18-24.
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Target and Wal-Mart among SAP Retail Innovation and Impact Awards winners
New York City — SAP announced the recipients of the annual SAP Retail Innovation and Impact Awards, which recognize the achievements of SAP customers that have generated significant business results through the implementation of SAP software in 2010. The awards were presented at the SAP Retail Forum 2010, Oct. 13-14, in Las Vegas.
Among the winners were Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores. Wal-Mart was honored with the Best in Class Go Live Award, which recognizes exceptional implementation of SAP software from beginning to end.
Target and Walgreens, both received the Best in Class Innovation Award. The award recognizes innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within a company by focusing on the technological advancement and economic growth achieved by implementing SAP solutions.
Target, and Walgreens, both received the Best in Class Innovation Award. The award recognizes innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within a company by focusing on the technological advancement and economic growth achieved by implementing SAP solutions.
Other awards included:
Best in Class Value Award — Recreational Equipment, Inc. Given to a company for its extraordinary leadership and/or pioneering in developing, implementing, and promoting value in the company by constantly innovating with SAP technology.
Valued Partnership Award — OfficeMax. Demonstrates a joint commitment to success with SAP by collaboration on new, innovative solutions, providing deep domain expertise and communicating strategic value to both customers and prospects.
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A glimmer of holiday hope from NRF
WASHINGTON Consumers are a little less concerned about the economy and will be spending a little more freely this holiday season, according to new shopper research from the National Retail Federation that prompted the trade group to reiterate an earlier forecast calling for holiday sales to increase 2.3% to $447 billion. That equates to an average of about $688 per person this year, compared with $682 last year.
“Consumers will still shop with the economy in the back of their minds, but we’re starting to see shoppers take baby steps toward a new normal,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “As Americans open up their wallets for more discretionary gifts like jewelry or take advantage of sales to buy for themselves, retailers will begin to truly believe that the worst may be behind them.”
Shay’s assertions are based on the latest installment of an ongoing series of Consumer Intentions and Actions surveys conducted by BIGresearch on behalf of NRF prior to key seasonal periods such as back-to-school, Halloween or Valentine’s Day. In this case, the holiday 2010 survey asked roughly 8,800 people about their spending and gift-giving intentions and was conducted the week of Oct. 5.
According to the survey, 61.7% of shoppers said the economy will impact their spending. While that is a big number, it is down from last year’s 65.%. In addition, many shoppers said they will compensate by spending less (81.5%), comparison shopping online (30.9%) or with newspapers and circulars (28.1%), shopping for sales (54.1%) or using more coupons (40.6%).
Although the economy continues to impact shoppers, a number of survey results indicated that shoppers may be ready to emerge from their shells this holiday season. As evidence of such a possibility, NRF pointed to survey data which shows influencing factors such as sales, price discounts and everday low prices remained constant with prior years, while the number of people who counted customer service as the most important factor rose from 4.4% last year to 5.3% this year, while shoppers who touted quality as the overriding factor rose from 11.8% to 12.7%.
Small increases to be sure, but perhaps an indicator of a welcome trend for an industry eager to see a resumption of spending on discretionary items.
“Price is paramount during any recession, but when the economy begins to recover other factors take on greater importance,” said Phil Rist, EVP strategic initiatives with BIGresearch. “When shoppers consider other factors like customer service and quality in buying decisions, retailers have the ability to highlight a variety of other features to help their company stand out from the competition.”
As a potential sign that discretionary gifts may become more popular, NRF highlight a statistic showing that 23% of those surveyed will ask for jewelry this year, a substantial increase from last year’s 20%. Another indicator is the fact that the number of people who said they will make a holiday purchase from a discount store dropped to 65% this year from 70% last year.
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