Fourth fireworks closer to home this year: NRF

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Despite high gas prices, consumers will still go out and celebrate the Fourth of July, just a little closer to home, according to a new study by the National Retail Federation.

The report, titled "NRF 2007 Independence Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey," was conducted for the NRF by BIGresearch, polling 7,675 consumers was from June 6 to June 13. It found that 42.1 percent of consumers said increased gas prices will impact their spending for the July 4th holiday.

"Although gas prices are actually dropping right now, because prices are still high, some consumers are opting to stay at home, do something within their community or travel closer to home," said Kathy Grannis, spokesperson for the NRF, Washington. "Instead of traveling to a vacation spot a couple of hours away, consumers are making shorter trips and going somewhere that is only an hour away."

When it comes to consumers' Independence Day plans, 61.1 percent will have a cookout/barbecue or picnic, 42.5 percent will attend fireworks or another type of community celebration and 9.7 percent will attend a parade.

While 40 percent said they are currently driving less and 41 percent are taking fewer shopping trips due to fluctuating gas prices, 11.3 percent of consumers will travel or go on vacation for the holiday.

In addition, 17.3 percent of shoppers said they will purchase additional patriotic merchandise to celebrate Independence Day. Retailers are offering promotions around holiday items like beach accessories and cookout utensils. Sunscreen, beach towels and umbrellas will be featured on in-store promotional displays alongside grill sets and coolers.

Expect to see these promotions in stores.

"Window displays are usually very successful when it comes to a holiday," Ms. Grannis said. "And promotions around the holiday items will be on display in stores in special areas. There is always a section of the store dedicated to promoting everything that has to do with the holiday."

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