news bites 10.25.11

A collection of statistics and predictions about the most wonderful time of the year...
- Consumer spending by destination: According to SymphonyIRI's Holiday Shopping 2011 survey, 88% of holiday meal shoppers will frequent grocery stores, while 45% will shop in club stores, followed by mass merchandisers (41%), supercenters (37%), dollar stores (8%) and drug stores (7%).
- Respondents in new research released from Accenture highlighted rising food bills (46%), gas prices (41%), concerns about the economy (39%), and home energy bills (38%) as the biggest factors that would negatively affect their holiday spending.
- Online holiday sales poised for growth with promotion-heavy tactics like free shipping according to the National Retail Federation. Nine in 10 online retailers (92.5%) say they plan on offering the service at some point and more than half of retailers (52.9%) plan to start their online holiday marketing and promotions by Halloween (up from the 40 percent who planned to do so last year).
- Share of wallet: 52% of consumers plan to spend $500 or more on gifts this season according to PriceGrabber. Of those surveyed, 36% said they will spend less than $500, and 12% indicated that they do not have a budget.
- Retail finance study reveals retailers generally pessimistic about U.S. economy: 76% of Retail Executives Expect Financial Crisis Will Extend into 2012 or Beyond, 74% See Holiday Retail Sales Improving Slightly or Staying About the Same as Last Year and 63% Believe Change in Health Care Costs and Regulations Will Be Negative for Their Businesses.
- Get mobile friendly: Using mobile phones to comparison-shop or tablet computers to do research is becoming more popular. More than one-third of tablet owners, 34.8%, said that they plan to buy items on their device according to a National Retail Federation report.
- Year-round purchasing: Almost half of consumers have been looking for deals throughout the year when shopping for those on their holiday gift list, while just 18 percent are planning to wait to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday according to a study.