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Survey: Most holiday shoppers will spend same or more as last year

BY Dan Berthiaume

Yonkers, N.Y. — Two-thirds of shoppers will spend the same amount of money (54%) or more money (12%) than they did last year. A new Consumer Reports poll also reveals that 33% will spend less money, similar to the 37% who said the same when asked last year.

About half of Americans plan to shop on a budget this year. However, 36% admitted to spending more than they budgeted last year. Additionally, 10% of shoppers who used a credit card to purchase gifts last holiday season have yet to pay off their debt, similar to the 13% who were in that predicament last year. When asked the most important reasons they chose credit cards instead of cash or another method of payment, the top responses included:

• Credit cards are easier for online purchases (54%)
• Earning bonuses such as reward points or miles for using my credit card (48%)
• Credit cards are more convenient than other methods of payment (48%)
• Earning cash back for using my credit card (40%)
• Credit cards made it easier to track the amount of money I was spending (27%)
• Idesier to pay for my purchases later, or in installments (26%)
• Credit cards are my default method of payment (25%)

Holiday shoppers anticipate they will charge a median amount of $650 to their credits cards this holiday season, which is $275 more than last year’s median of $375. Just 7% of shoppers plan to take advantage of store layaway plans.

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The Limited debuts omni-channel ‘Style Stage’ Nov. 21

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio — The Limited will debut the Stylinity Style Stage, an omni-channel “selfie studio,” on Thursday, Nov. 21 at its flagship store at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Sitting outside the store’s dressing rooms, the Style Stage photographs the user wearing store apparel and tags that apparel allowing other shoppers to search for and buy those products online in a fully shoppable social commerce catalogue.

"The Style Stage by Stylinity is an opportunity for us to reinforce the omni-channel experience," said Diane Ellis, CEO of The Limited. "We hope to learn more about how shoppers interact with this new technology and share their in-store shopping experience with their online friends."

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Survey: Cash to trump credit cards this holiday season

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bloomington, Ill. — Six in 10 (61%) holiday shoppers this year plan to use cash, check or debit card to pay for most of their holiday purchases. Just 29% say they will use credit, according to the latest Country Financial Security Index.

Americans are more likely to have four or more credit cards (22%) than they are to have no cards at all (18%). However, the prevalent use of cash could be a result of Americans’ unwillingness to take on debt, as survey results show more than half (56%) say they are not willing to take on any debt for their holiday shopping, another 26% say they are willing to take on debt of less than $500 and only 15% say they would take on $500 or more in debt.

In comparison to other income brackets, those earning $200,000 or more annually are the most likely to use credit to pay for their holiday purchases (48%). This is at least 7% higher than any other income group.

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