Holiday consumers hesitant on splurging

With the holiday season approaching, you have hopefully thought about what to buy your loved ones. You may cringe at the thought of having to go shopping several times in big crowds with big bags. But perhaps your mind is more on how much to spend.

Last year, it was a big deal to businesses as to how much consumers were going to spend in a recession. So how will consumers spend compared to last year? 

Sunny Freeman at the Globe and Mail writes:

“Retail analysts predict that recession-battered shoppers will be reluctant to shop this holiday season, as their spending spirits are dampened by everything from unseasonably warm weather to higher consumer debt loads.

A balmy November across much of Canada isn’t helping to lift sales forecasts that were already looking dismal, thanks to high consumer debt, growing unemployment and weak consumer confidence, warns a report released Tuesday by consultants Deloitte Canada.

“This warm weather is a killer, because we’ve all been programmed in our DNA to go shopping when we see snowflakes because that means Santa is coming,” said Brent Houlden, Deloitte Canada’s retail practice leader.

Deloitte’s 2010 holiday outlook survey predicts Canadians will take a more frugal path this year, partly because they are trying to pay down debt and partly because recent economic data points to more uncertainty ahead.

Almost half of the survey’s respondents, or 44 per cent, said they plan to spend less this holiday season than they did last year.”

With the weather not seeming very winter-y or christmas-y, people aren’t yet in the mood for the holidays. Once the cold air comes in and the days get shorter, the more and more people will be entering malls. But that’s not to say they’re spending a lot…just more reasonably. Daniel Baer, a retail partner at Ernst & Young, ‘projects that holiday sales will increase modestly, by about two to three per cent from last year. Canadians will spend less on impulse purchases this year, but will still spend a little more than they did in 2009, when the economy was just emerging from the recession, he said.’

“Consumers are still cautious and still anxious in terms of where the economic recovery is and that certainly plays a part in whether they spend on an impulse basis or a more rational basis.”

Sunny Freeman continues to say “The strong Canadian dollar is also expected to hurt matters by sending shoppers south of the border. Already, more and more Canadians are cross-border shopping without leaving their homes by taking advantage of free shipping and other discounts offered online by U.S. retailers”

The thing to remember this holiday season is ‘its the thought that counts!’.

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About sunnyvisa

I'm a student at Ottawa U, studying in Communications. I was born in Quebec City to a French Canadian and Italian family. I lived 9 years in the Netherlands and then moved to Ottawa. I love to travel, spend time with my family, and have fun with friends. You can always see me with a smile on my face :)
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