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Consumers to seek sales

Consumers will be waiting for sales this holiday season and doing more spending at discounters, according to a new survey released by The NPD Group.

Nearly half of those surveyed, 49 percent, said that buying on sale is "more important" to them than it was last year. An equal number said that buying on sale is "just as important" as last year. Among women, 40 percent fell into the "much more important" camp, as opposed to 30 percent of men.

Although they're looking for bargains, the majority of customers (69 percent) said they will hold spending at last year's level. Those who said they will cut spending this year amounted to 20 percent.

Average spending overall will be around $661 this holiday season, the survey concluded. In households where incomes fall below $30,000, spending is expected to be about $379. It increases to $618 when household incomes are between $30,000 and $74,000. Households earning $75,000 or more plan to spend $956.

Shopping destinations of choice this holiday: 79 percent of respondents say they would shop discounters; 36 percent, warehouse clubs; 30 percent, outlets; and 40 percent, online. Among women, 40 percent said they will shop via catalog/mail order this holiday season, compared to 25 percent of men.

Value, quality of merchandise and selection were cited as the top three influences on consumers' decisions about where to shop this year.

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