Savings strategies will keep holidays intact at home

Articles
December 05, 2008

Savings strategies will keep holidays intact at home

Here’s the sign of consumer faith that American families will hold together this holiday season, even if retailers don’t get everything they want or feel they need: fully one-third of U.S. consumers (32%) intend to spend more time searching for deals in stores this month, according to a comScore survey fielded in the days before Thanksgiving. After death and injuries on Black Friday due to mob mentality and inadequate security, after retail website failures on Cyber Monday, after months of financial pummeling by Wall Street and the economy, after job losses of people near and dear (the list goes on), has the American consumer lost her sense of enterprise and resourceful to score a holiday gift at a great price? Apparently not. Rather than seek a quiet place to nurse her wounds and recharge, she’s ready to sharpen her elbows so she’ll be able to surround her Christmas tree, Chanukah menorah or Kwanzaa candles with gifts (maybe fewer than last year though) that send a powerful message to the family: We will retain a sense of normalcy under our roof, and look to a better 2009 and beyond. Scrooge won’t steal this holiday from resourceful families, according to this survey’s findings, which revealed the many ways people will aim to save money. Among them: buy fewer gifts (47%), buy less expensive gifts (46%), use coupons (37%), spend more time researching deals online (37%), use comparison shopping engines (25%).

Here’s the sign of consumer faith that American families will hold together this holiday season, even if retailers don’t get everything they want or feel they need: fully one-third of U.S. consumers (32%) intend to spend more time searching for deals in stores this month, according to a comScore survey fielded in the days before Thanksgiving.

After death and injuries on Black Friday due to mob mentality and inadequate security, after retail website failures on Cyber Monday, after months of financial pummeling by Wall Street and the economy, after job losses of people near and dear (the list goes on), has the American consumer lost her sense of enterprise and resourceful to score a holiday gift at a great price?

Apparently not. Rather than seek a quiet place to nurse her wounds and recharge, she’s ready to sharpen her elbows so she’ll be able to surround her Christmas tree, Chanukah menorah or Kwanzaa candles with gifts (maybe fewer than last year though) that send a powerful message to the family: We will retain a sense of normalcy under our roof, and look to a better 2009 and beyond.

Scrooge won’t steal this holiday from resourceful families, according to this survey’s findings, which revealed the many ways people will aim to save money. Among them: buy fewer gifts (47%), buy less expensive gifts (46%), use coupons (37%), spend more time researching deals online (37%), use comparison shopping engines (25%).

Though consumers will cut back, a majority of those who buy gifts (54%) will prefer to pay by credit card, revealed findings of a recent SupermarketGuru.com Quick Poll. That will mean more January bills, but 51% say they pay that way in order to reap cash back, discounts or reward points from their cards. 

They won’t be whipping the cards out so fast either, noted the SG Quick Poll: 30% say they’ve already been buying less in 2008 than in 2007; another 27% use a debit card more often in order to avoid the shocker in the mail a month later.

Looks like consumers are calling this a coping year for themselves and the stores they shop in, and they’ll be thankful for the holidays, even if they’re less materialistic than in the past.