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Holiday outlook grim for softer side  

Worthington, Ohio – The ladies aren’t optimistic – and of course that could turn out bad for retailers this holiday season.

The latest survey by consumer tracking firm BIGresearch shows a major male/female gap in plans for the upcoming, all-important retail period.

For its Advanced Holiday ’08 Outlook, BIGresearch on Sept. 2 through Sept. 9 asked consumers the question: “Based on your present situation and feelings toward the economy, which of the following best describes your plans for the December Holiday Season? – Spend More / Spend Less.”

The answers could not be starker on the gender dividing line.

By a 60.1%-to-38.5% margin, female respondents said they planned to “spend less” rather than “spend more.”

Male respondents were the mirror image: 61.5% plan to “spend more,” while 39.9% plan to “spend less.”

The results would tend to support higher retail volume in consumer electronics this holiday, coupled with sluggish business in the soft home categories.

Additionally, younger consumers are feeling more feisty: the average age of those planning to spend more was 37.7, while the spend-less group had an average age of 45.8.

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