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BigResearch finds consumers back to practical purchasing in May

Columbus, Ohio - In its latest Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey, which monitors more than 8,000 consumers monthly, research firm BigResearch said "practicality in purchasing" rebounded in June after dipping downward in May.

Nearly half, or 46.3%, of consumers surveyed said they maintain a practical penchant. That rate is up more than three points from the previous month, when 42.9% had that attitude, but is still tracking below June 2009 when it was at 47.8%.

"Not surprisingly, those focused on needs over wants also rises in June," BigResearch continued. "Currently, 53.8% say they zero in on the necessities when spending, up two points from May's 51.5%, but - like practicality - remaining lower than a year ago (55.0%)."

With regards to shopping, BigResearch said consumers continuing to increasingly shop online to save on gas, time and money. The retailers these shoppers said they are most frequently shopping rate as follows:

  • Almost one in five, or 19.1% at for non-apparel products;
  •, 8.4%;
  •, 6.9%;
  •, 5.8%;
  •, 2.2%.

Turning to click and mortar shopping habits, when it come to specifically linens, bedding and draperies product categories, one in five (21.0%) of consumers said they shop Walmart most often, 11.3% go to Bed Bath & Beyond, 7.3 shop J.C.Penney, 6.2% go to Target, and 3.7% shop at Kohl's.

When asked about future purchases, the declining confidence and increasing practicality "appear to have contributed to a depressed 90-Day Outlook compared to May," said BIGresearch Diffusion Index - which analyzes those surveyed who said they'll spend less subtracted from those surveyed who said they will spend more.

While most categories continue to improve from levels in June 2009 and Jun2 2008, "all remain in decline compared to a pre-recession June 2007, continuing the notion that consumer spending remains far from ‘recovered.' "

Consumers told BigResearch that they slightly more optimistic about spending in the longer term. Six-month purchase intentions have increased from May for mobile devices (5.1%), TVs (9.7%), DVD/VCR (4.1%), and digital cameras (5.5%). However, autos, computers, home appliances, home improvements, jewelry/watch, and stereo equipment remain flat, while furniture and vacation travel have declined.

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