Christmas Spending Could Rise Again

BY STEVE DINNEN

Pumpkins are so last week. The all-consuming trend from now until Dec. 25 is Christmas shopping, and we’ve shown we’re pretty good at it—and doing better.

Last year, shoppers polled by American Research Group Inc. said they intended to spend on average $929 for Christmas gifts. That was up from $882 the previous year. And since the Des Moines-area economy is just as robust, there’s a feeling, or at least a hope by retailers, that they will spend even more this year.

Christmas spending has steadily risen since 2009, when it sagged to just about $400 per person. It’s still not back to 2001 levels, when it peaked at $1,052.

Anywhere from a third to nearly a half of shoppers—it varies from year to year—have said they will buy from catalogs and direct marketers. And as you might guess, more and more people are using the internet to make purchases. People who shop on the internet have in the past said they intended to spend more money than general shoppers. 

Regardless of how or where you shop, or how much you plan to spend (and honest, $929 strikes me as a bit skimpy; my friends in retailing suggest you can do better than that) you now have 54 days to accomplish the task.

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