We’ll Wait Until It’s on Sale

It’s beginning to look a lot like a cheapskate Christmas. A survey by the NPD Group finds 20 percent of consumers plan to spend less on gifts this holiday season, vs. 12 percent planning to spend more. “In addition, most consumers plan to ‘shop for value’ this holiday season by waiting for sales and spending more at discount retailers.” Forty-nine percent of respondents said buying on sale is “more important” to them this year than in 2001. In fact, 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men said it’s “much more important.” When people were asked to cite the factors they consider “extremely important” in their choice of venues for holiday shopping, “value” stood atop the list (picked by 69 percent), ranking ahead of “quality” (62 percent), “selection” (52 percent) and “hassle-free returns”(51 percent). As the chart indicates, most people expect to purchase clothing as gifts—though fewer than last year, when 78 percent bought in that category. The sector showing the biggest change is electronics: 23 percent plan to buy something of that sort this year, while 37 percent said they did so last year.