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Handicapping the holidays

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 02:11

On the edge of the Thanksgiving holiday sales, everyone is taking bets on consumers vs. retailers. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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Place your bets - consumers versus retailers this Thanksgiving? Deloitte's holiday survey says 67 percent of consumers say they are not motivated to go out to stores on Thanksgiving day. They want to spend time with family and friends. Score one for consumers. And only 48 percent of consumers plan to visit stores on Black Friday - that's down 5 percent from last year. In fact 41 percent say they don't rely on black Friday or Cyber Monday as much as they used to- and more shoppers say the Black Friday deals just aren't as good as they used to be But when they do go - a lot will go early - about 40 percent are heading out before 6am. Shoppers said they would spend more that they expected they would, with the average budget for the weekend rising to around $295. Deloitte Retail Analyst Ramesh Swamy: SOUNDBITE: RAMESH SWAMY, RETAIL ANALYST, DELOITTE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think this year consumers are very optimistic at least to spend on the holidays. and particularly there is a lot of things moving in their favor. I think that gas prices is certainly helping, retailers are being very promotional thisyear and spreading it out. Consumers generally have a very positive outlook." But retailers may get points for inventory management - retailers have done a good job convincing consumers not to procrastinate - 21 percent say they want to get their shopping done early - because they are afraid the stuff they want- will run out. And things are getting better in time for the holidays. Fitch Ratings says US retail sales growth will be up between 3-4 percent in November and December- compared to 2.8 percent year to date. Score some more for retailers. Fitch Rating's Head of U.S. Retail, Monica Aggarwal: SOUNDBITE: MONICA AGGARWAL, HEAD OF U.S. RETAIL, FITCH RATINGS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "What we have seen is an uptick in the employment levels and some modest uptick in real wages and I think the recent decline in gas prices should help you know improve some spending going into the holiday season." And thanks to the economy - the vast majority of consumers are upping their holiday budgets - with 81 percent saying they are going to spend more than they expected just a month ago. And more and more consumers are using credit cards, a sign they are more confident in their financial future.

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Handicapping the holidays

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 02:11