Survey: Discount Retailers Big Winners This Holiday Season

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Most families will spend their holiday dollars at discount department stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target, according to a survey released last week from Madison Direct Marketing Ltd., Greenwich, CT, a DM company that targets young families.


Results indicated 79 percent of parents will shop mainly at discount department stores. Madison Direct regularly does discount retailer-specific marketing on behalf of manufacturers and marketers.


The survey, which let parents indicate the types of retail stores that would account for most of their shopping, found the next-closest category to be toy stores, mentioned by 51 percent of parents.


Only 40 percent said they would shop at a mall, 21 percent at clothing stores, and 13 percent said traditional department stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's would be primary shopping venues.


The altered shopping patterns are being driven mainly by changes in personal income (62 percent) and economic conditions (43 percent).


"This realignment of parents' shopping patterns presents a real opportunity for responsive marketers and retailers," said Chris Hulse, Madison Direct Marketing president. "Families with children are high-dollar ring shoppers that are getting more practical in the way they approach consumption. Marketers who understand and respond to this should be able to flourish."


The survey also found that 71 percent of families are buying gifts for at least eight people and 42 percent said they hope to spend less this year.


As for the items families are buying, toys are the favorite, with 74 percent of parents buying them. Children's clothing is a close second at 70 percent. DVDs are on 49 percent of holiday shopping lists, and CDs are on 48 percent of them.


Results are based on responses from 235 households.


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