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November 2007

Consumers will spend more on the 2007 holidays than they did last year, but overall spending will be restrained, according to a National Retail Federation survey.

U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $816.69 on holiday-related shopping, according to NRF’s 2007 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch.

These shoppers will spend an additional $106.67 on special “non-gift” purchases by taking advantage of special promotions and discounts to treat themselves.

This brings total planned holiday-related spending to $923.36, an increase of 3.7 percent from 2006 and in line with NRF’s economic forecast of 4 percent. This is slightly less than previous years, the NRF said.

It will also be a price-conscious holiday.

“Shoppers will be a little more conservative with their spending as they become more aware of the softness in the economy,” said NRF president and chief executive officer Tracy Mullin. “It is safe to say that many retailers will be competing on price, causing this holiday season to be very promotional – a tremendous win for consumers.”

No particular retail format will see significant gains from last year, according to the survey:

* Discounters can expect the most traffic, with 68.4 percent of consumers planning to shop there (compared to 70.3 percent in 2006).

* Department stores will also see about 58.2 percent of shoppers (vs. 61.6 percent last year).

* The Internet will once again play a crucial role for retailers this holiday season as consumers, on average, plan to do 30.2 percent of their shopping online compared to 28.9 percent in 2006.

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