Bigresearch finds BTS "hit or miss"

Retail Editor 8, Joan Gunin, August 12, 2010

Columbus, Ohio - With consumer confidence lagging, it may come as no surprise that back-to-school season could be "hit or miss for some retailers," consumer research firm Bigresearch noted in its most recent Consumer Intentions & Actions (CIA) survey.

Almost half, or 44.8%, of consumers still say they'll remain practical and realistic when spending. But the good news is that this figure has lowered four points from July when it was 49.1% and declined a year ago when the rate was 48.2%.

"Students headed back to school may have an easier time this year convincing penny-pinching parents that they need a new notebook, e-reader, or mobile device," said Bigresearch. "More than half (53.5%) still say they're focused on necessities when shopping, but this percentage has lowered from July (58.0%) and August ‘09 (55.9%)."

Bigresearch's CIA survey monitors more than 8,000 consumers monthly. Some of the highlights of its most recent survey, conducted August 3 to 10, included the following findings: 


  • Consumer confidence remains flat at 27.8% in August;
  • Fewer shoppers are feeling practical;
  • Two in five said they are "worse off" financially compared to August 2009;
  • Target, Sam's Club, and Costco are among the stores shopped most for groceries lately;
  • The 90-day outlook is up from July 10 and August 2009.

Retailers can look forward to some favorable results. While consumers may feel like they don't have much money in the bank, 16.9% reported that newest fashion trends and styles are important to them. That is an increase over the 13.0% recorded a year ago and is the highest reading since October 2008 when it was just 18.5%. Half - 50.1% - still think fashion is less important than value and comfort, while 33.0% prefer a traditional, conservative look.


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