Alan Wolf On Nov 5 2012 - 1:00am

CE Holiday Demand Flat, Total Spending Down: NRF


WASHINGTON – Holiday demand for CE products is on par with last year, according to a new seasonal spending survey by the National Re- tail Federation (NRF) and BIGinsight.

The survey, which polled 8,899 consumers Oct. 2-8, found that 35.8 percent would like to receive CE or computer-related accessories as a gift this holiday season, compared with 35.4 percent last year.

Gift cards were the most wished for present, cited by 61.3 percent of re- spondents, followed by apparel (49.1 percent) and books, CDs, DVDs, vid- eos or video games (45.7 percent).

Some wishes may be dashed though, as total gift spending will be down 10.2 percent this year, to $489.51 per shop- per, the poll showed.

When it came to channel prefer- ence, 31.8 percent cited electronics stores among the places they plan to shop, dead even with last year’s tally.

Respondents said sales or price discounts are the most important fac- tors in choosing a particular retailer (36.6 percent), followed by selection (16.1 percent). Only 5.9 percent said helpful, knowledgeable customer service was the key determinant of where they choose to shop.

Nearly 52 percent said they plan to shop online, up from 46.7 percent last year, and more than 25 percent plan to do upwards of half their holi- day shopping via the web – up mar- ginally from the 24.4 percent who said they would power-shop the web last holiday season.

In addition, 32.9 percent plan to use their smartphones to research prod- ucts and compare prices, up from 31 percent last year, and 15 percent will make purchases from their smart- phones, up from 14.1 percent last year.

However, nearly a quarter said they will use their smartphones to look up store information such as hours, loca- tion and directions.

In contrast, 44.2 percent will use their tablet computers to research products and compare prices, down from 50.8 percent last year, and 30 percent will use their tablets to make purchases, down from 34.8 percent last year.

More than two-thirds of respon- dents said they own a smartphone or tablet computer, up from 50.2 per- cent in 2011.

Most shoppers (40.5 percent) plan to start their holiday shopping in No- vember.

NRF regularly commissions pollster BIGinsight to conduct its surveys.

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