Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Merchants Upbeat as Season Kicks off Holiday Spending Should Be Up, Survey Indicates

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Merchants Upbeat as Season Kicks off Holiday Spending Should Be Up, Survey Indicates

Article excerpt

Everybody in a good mood?

Ready to shop?

Retailers hope so. And most of those polled in a recent survey have planned for as much. Ninety-two percent of the Midwestern retailers surveyed by Deloitte & Touche say they expect consumers to spend the same or more on holiday gifts this season.

Three-fourths think their sales will go up, at least slightly.

The survey is an annual pulse-taking of merchants by Deloitte & Touche, an international accounting firm. The national version, released earlier this month, was similarly upbeat.

Here are some of the highlights from the mail survey, which quizzed 315 retailers on their holiday plans. The survey covered parts of seven Midwestern states, including Missouri.

Stores are planning more entertainment than usual to draw in more customers.

Advertising budgets are up, with money spent on direct mail and catalogs showing marked growth.

If all goes as planned, profit should show a modest increase.

Two-thirds of merchants say they plan to emphasize customer service. …

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