Holiday 2003 Trends Predictions
by Robert Passikoff

Holiday Spending

Despite a less than stellar economy, consumers indicated that they intended to spend more this year than they did last year. An on-going psychographic trend Brand Keys has observed is that while consumers are willing to spend a bit more, they want to be perceived as "wise shoppers." They'll spend money, but they want it well spent, and will spend time searching out the best deals.

Q. Do you think that you'll spend more, less, or the same this holiday season as you did last year?

% Change to 2002:

More +10
Same - 5
Less - 5

How Much Will They Spend? On average, about $710.00, or about 9 percent more than last year.

Where Will They Send Their Money? As might be expected, consumers have indicated that they will use the full range of retail formats and channels. However, only one of these channels reflects a substantial percent-change over last year. More non-users of online channels say they'll go online to shop this holiday season.

% Change to 2002:

Discount Department Stores 70% +5
Traditional Department Stores 52% -2
Online 50% +15
Catalog 41% +3
Specialty Stores 40% -0

This trend is confirmed by increased holiday online sales.

To What Degree? An increase of 62 percent over last year, or $20.5 billion.

On What Will All This Money Be Spent? Just what might be expected, and similar to last years' declared purchases. There is, however a slight "bump" in the electronics/computers/mobile phone category, up 6% from last year.

Clothing & Accessories 50 percent
Electronics/Computers/Phones 45
Books 32
CDs/DVDs/Video Games 26
Gift Cards 41
Jewelry 25
Home Décor 20

Which Channels and Brands Will Benefit Most? Customer loyalty assessments are the best leading-indicator of profitability. The following 6 categories are tracked in the Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Index survey and reflect the ranking of brands and channels (according to their customer loyalty assessments) that are most likely to be the beneficiaries of the identified 2003 holiday trends.

Search for Products/Deals

1. Google.com 2. Yahoo.com 3. MSN.com 4. HotBot.com 5. Excite.com

Online Retailers

1. Amazon.com 2. Borders.com 3. Buy.com 4. CDnow 5. BN.com

Discount Stores

1. Wal-Mart 2. Sears 3. Target 4. JC Penney 5. Kmart Clothing

Catalogues

1. L.L. Bean 2. Sears 3. Lands' End 4. Nordstrom 5. J. Crew/Macy's

Mobile Phones

1. Samsung 2. Motorola 3. Nokia 4. Ericsson 5. Panasonic

Computers

1. Gateway 2. Apple 3. Dell 4. Compaq 5. HP


Robert Passikoff is founder of Brand Keys Inc. (New York), a brand and customer loyalty consultancy. He can be reached at 212-532-6028, x12, or robertp@brandkeys.com. Visit www.brandkeys.com for more.

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