Consumers plan more spending for holidays

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U.S. consumers will spend more this holiday season than last, while also treating themselves, a National Retail Federation survey found.


The average consumer plans to spend $738.11, up 5.1 percent from the 2004 holidays, according to the NRF 2005 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch and released yesterday.


Consumers also are projected to spend another $86.62 on themselves.


NRF last month forecast total holiday retail sales at $435.3 billion, up 5 percent.


The majority of holiday spending will involve gifts for family, pegged at an average of $421.30 in the survey.


Books, CDs, DVDs, video and video games remain high on wish lists, with 55.5 percent of consumers hoping to get something in that category. Apparel is another favorite, at 54.4 percent.


Almost 38 percent of consumers cited sales or price discounts as a top factor in buying from a particular store. A little more than 23 percent ranked selection of merchandise as a top factor.


Top shopping destinations include discounters, cited by 71.4 percent of those surveyed, followed by department stores at 59.4 percent and specialty shops such as clothing or toys at 46.5 percent.


Online shopping should keep growing, the survey found, as 42.6 percent of consumers plan to buy gifts online, up from 38.3 percent last year.


The NRF survey polled 7,726 consumers Oct. 5-12. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percent.


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