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Holiday Purchases Will Be Flat But There Are Ways of Improving Sales

Marketers can expect little or no relief from the economic malaise during the coming Holiday buying season.

That can't prevent them from taking advantage of the season to build sales for 2011.

It is important for marketers to remember that the holiday season is a time to reach out to clients and consumers, if only with a brief holiday message.

The holiday buying season is also a time when many companies generate sales that are often the difference between profit and loss. For those consumer marketers expecting to save their yearly profit with holiday sales, the picture is not encouraging.

Ninety-four percent of consumers will spend the same or less on holiday gifts this year – most people between $200 and $500 - according to a just-released survey from Western Union Payments. According to David Shapiro,  a senior vice president of the Western Union Company's Payment Services division, the findings from the survey reveal:

  • 30% of consumers have hidden a gift purchase from their spouse / significant other6
  • 20% will set a holiday budget
  • 12% of consumers will spend nothing this holiday
  • 32% will spend less on each person this year
  • 19% will shop only at discount stores
  • 22% say they would pay off debt, instead of buying gifts, if they had the choice; only 2% would save the money 
  • 20% will buy a holiday gift for their work colleague;   19% of those report they will do it because they feel obligated
  • 6% admit they will give bosses, clients or colleagues gifts to gain favor in 2011
  • 40% consider government the biggest ‘Scrooge’ this holiday

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