WASHINGTON — Consumers might be a little more willing to spend on discretionary items this holiday season, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation here.
The survey, conducted among 8,767 consumers Oct. 5-12 by BIGresearch, Worthington, Ohio, projected average consumer spending of $688.87 this year, vs. average spending of $681.83 last year.
The survey found that 61.7% of shoppers said the economy would impact their spending, down from 65.3% who said that a year ago. The survey also found that while sales or price discounts remain the most important factor for shoppers (41.8% ranked this as the most important factor), customer service (5.3% vs. 4.4% last year) and product quality (12.7% vs. 11.8% last year) rose in importance as factors for shoppers this year.
"We think retailers are will have a bit of breathing room to focus on things other than price," said Ellen Davis of NRF in a conference call discussing the survey on Tuesday.
The survey also reported a decline in the number of people who will make a holiday purchase from a discounter this year (65.1% vs. 70.1% a year ago). Grocery stores were cited 46.7% of consumers as holiday shopping destinations.
NRF maintained its forecast of a 2.3% increase in holiday spending this year.