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Tiffany Montgomery
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Pent up demand could help retail sales

By Tiffany Montgomery
November 25, 2008 7:04 AM

There's an interesting survey out today that says more shoppers plan to shop on the day and weekend after Thanksgiving than last year. Also, more people said they will be shopping for themselves than last year.

The International Council of Shopping Centers survey says 45 percent of those surveyed said they will shop on Friday or the weekend vs. 36 percent in 2007. A whopping 81 percent of those who will shop said they will shop for themselves vs. 69 percent in 2007.

Michael Niemira, the ICSC's chief economist, who called the results "surprising," said bargains may bring shoppers out despite the downturn.

"These results further underscore how pent-up demand can be triggered by the right set of promotions and events, but also how some potentially strong sales days can co-exist with a weak underlying sales trend," Niemira said in a press release.

Lots of groups release surveys this time of year, but Niemira is very respected. I used to talk to Niemira all the time when I was the retail reporter at the Orange County Register, and he is not a cheerleader type. So if he thinks there is pent up demand that can be met this holiday season, there may be a glimmer of hope out there.

The ICSC surveyed 1,000 people between Nov. 20 and Nov. 23.

 


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