Last month, the NPD Group came out with the results of their annual survey of consumers, trying to find out what their holiday shopping plans are. And the results look very familiar. 11% of those polled indicated that they intend to spend more than they did last year, which is the same number as last year’s survey. Those who plan to spend about the same rose slightly from 59% to 63%, with that swing coming completely from the ranks of those planning to spend less, dropping from 30% to 26%. On the basis of this, the analyst group is forecasting between 0.5% and 1.5% growth in sales this year over last.
That’s not very good news, considering how awful last year’s holiday sales were. And other parts of the NPD survey indicate that consumers may hold off as long as they can before they shop. If that proves true, then expect retailers to get a bad case of the jitters well before Black Friday. And if one cracks and slashes prices to raise cash, expect the others to join in the race for losses. Mid-December is shaping up to be a very good time to buy that flat pane HDTV that you’ve been considering.