Shopper Confidence Still Tentative In The US

It’s not all a bed of roses for retail in the US, with research from Kantar Retail indicating that consumer confidence, the shift to online shopping and the weather contributed to a decline in shopping during the key-retail Christmas period.

Exceptional pre-Christmas sales, the weather and the shift towards online shopping, were all contributing factors to sales easing during the lead up to Christmas in the US, according to Kantar Retail.

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Amazon has defied the downward shopping trends in the US, experiencing a 55.1% year-on-year increase in the percentage of gift shoppers to its site.

“It’s clear that November’s great in-store deals robbed spending from December.  And in December shoppers were partial to spending online, perhaps encouraged even more by bad weather late in the month,” said Frank Badillo, Senior Economist.

Shopper confidence and intention to spend is only just returning in the US, which was significantly affected by the global financial crisis. The Kantar Retail research indicated that from June through September, shopper-spending intention was deteriorating, and only picked up nearing the Christmas period. However the measure reached a low of 35% in December 2010 — the lowest level since the question was first asked in March 2008.

The research did however reveal great results for Amazon.com, which was the only retailer to show a significant year-on-year increase (55.1%) in the percentage of gift shoppers – nabbing nearly two-thirds (63.7%) of holiday gift shoppers who completed the Kantar Retail ShopperScape survey.

Target, Kohl’s, and Walmart were also among the other retailers that held relatively steady in terms of the percentage of gift shoppers they attracted year-on-year.

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