Magazine article USA TODAY

Expect Another Grinch-Like Christmas

Magazine article USA TODAY

Expect Another Grinch-Like Christmas

Article excerpt

Unfortunately for retailers, the Grinch will be pushing the shopping cart again this holiday season, says Arun Jain, professor of marketing research at the University at Buffalo (N.Y.) School of Management.

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"This year is likely to be a repeat of 2008 with the same winners and losers. A gloomy employment picture, restricted availability of credit, and continued uncertainty regarding the stock market are likely to spoil the mood for Christmas shopping."

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According to Jain, households plan to spend the same amount or less than last year on holiday shopping. The locus will be on essential household items, such as cookware and basic clothing. High-priced items like jewelry tend to lose their luster in these difficult economic times.

"Those with extra cash have already spent it on flat-panel TVs and cheap laptops. Worse still, no radical electronics goods like iPhone, Nintendo's Wii, or Blue-Ray are being offered this year. The incremental technology offering Internet connectivity is not going to help.

"The only electronic gadgets worth vying for are the electronic book readers being offered by Amazon, Sony, and others, but these have been around for a while and are not exactly setting tire to consumer demands. …

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