U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $682.74 on holiday-related shopping, a 3.2 percent drop from last year's $705.01, according to National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, a consumer market intelligence firm. NRF continues to expect holiday sales to decline 1.0 percent to $437.6 billion.
Two-thirds of Americans (65.3%) say the economy will affect their holiday plans this year, with the majority of these consumers saying they're adjusting by simply spending less (84.2%). People will also be shopping for sales more often (55.0%), using more coupons (41.7%) and putting up last year's decorations (34.0%). Many Americans will also make changes in gift-giving, planning to buy more practical gifts (36.0%), buying a joint gift for kids or parents (17.3%), and making more gifts (16.7%). Additionally, more than one-fourth of Americans (28.6%) say the economy is forcing them to travel less or not at all for the holidays.
"While last holiday season was filled with chaotic confusion, adjusting to uncertainty has now become routine for many Americans," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. "This holiday season will be a bit of a dance between retailers and shoppers, with each group feeling the other out to understand how things have changed and how they must adapt."
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