Sunday, October 20, 2002

What's The Buzz

Books, CDs, DVDs will top typical Christmas list

Books, CDs, DVDs and video games are the top choices for gifts this holiday season, according to the latest consumer survey from the National Retail Federation.

About 53 percent of respondents said those items are on their Christmas lists.

Coming in a close second? Apparel and accessories, with 51 percent choosing those items.

The survey also found that consumers will take a conservative approach to shopping this year, but they'll still spend a little more money than they did last year.

The 2002 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, released last week, revealed that consumers plan to spend an average of $649 a household on holiday shopping this year, up 2.6 percent from a year ago.

According to the survey of 7,686 consumers, 56 percent of respondents said they plan to spend about the same as they did in 2001, while 33 percent said they plan to spend less. The rest were undecided.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 percent.

But the survey also indicates that many consumers will spend their money cautiously, with 40 percent of those surveyed saying sales or price discounts are the most important factors when choosing a retailer.

Phil Rist, vice president of BIGresearch, which conducted the survey, said, "It is clear that consumers are willing to spend money, but it will ultimately be up to the retailer to give them a good reason to come out and shop.''

And where will consumers go? According to the survey, the majority of consumers, 77 percent, will shop at discount stores, mirroring the trend over the past few years. Traditional department stores ranked second among holiday shopping destinations, with 53 percent of survey respondents listing those as a holiday shopping outlet.

Forty six percent said they'd shop on the Internet, 45 percent at specialty stores and 37 percent by catalog.

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