11-12-2008 13:47Special Report: Global Financial Crisis
NEW YORK, Nov. 11 -- A survey conducted by the Retail Council of New York State shows that the retailers are worried about the coming holiday shopping season, according to a report available onwww.timesunion.com on Tuesday.
In the informal survey, council members reportedly acknowledged anxiety as they approach the holidays amid reports of low consumer confidence, rising unemployment and a malaise on Wall Street that has tightened credit.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Christmas season or winter holiday season is a late-year season that surrounds the Christmas holiday as well as other holidays during the November/December timeframe, which is often regarded as the most important shopping season for businesses of many types.
The Retail Council, which is based in the capital city of New York state Albany, represents 5,000 stores in the state that vary in size and focus, from national chains to independent merchants.
Concerns are reportedly prompting some merchants to modify their seasonal game plans by adding more sales and promotions, particularly on luxury items, maintaining leaner inventories and stocking more lower-priced items, the report said.
Some retailers said they hope the changes they've already made -- such as new store locations or renewed emphasis on customer service -- will help offset the factors discouraging consumers.
Recent declines in gasoline prices also could help put more discretionary dollars back in the pockets of consumers, experts were quoted as saying.
About 325 member stores responded to the survey.
Many respondents are still holding out hope that gloomy forecasts about the upcoming holiday shopping season will brighten before the year ends, the report said.