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This holiday season will be a difficult one for many shoppers. Nielsen reports that U.S. consumers continue to make fewer shopping trips at packaged goods retailers. Value channels — dollar stores, warehouse clubs and supercenters — are outperforming grocery, drug, mass and convenience store trips. And while shoppers are spending less —particularly in grocery and big-box formats — grocery is showing some resurgence with trip counts up in nine of 10 periods, proving that food matters.
Frugal consumers continue to look for deals both in-store and online. At grocery, almost one-third of purchases are bought on deal, and online visits to coupon and reward web sites are surging. It’s important to take note of the demographics behind the growing numbers of online deal hunters: consumers visiting couponing and rewards sites tend to be women, over the age of 55, residing in smaller households without children, and their household income skews toward the affluent ($100,000-plus).
While beleaguered shoppers will be looking for ways to make the season bright, retailers can do their part by bringing some much needed holiday cheer to the shopping experience:
1. Tempt taste buds with in-store tasting and cooking demos
2. Savor the smells of the season with aromatherapy
3. Lighten moods with music from local school bands or choirs
4. Touch the lives of others by collecting food bank donations
5. Switch out in-store TV ads with broadcasts of holiday classics
6. Reward frequent shoppers with holiday prize drawings
7. Team with manufacturers on donations to local charities
8. Enhance the décor with holiday decorations
9. Serve up a smile and an appreciative attitude
10. Respect staff workers with reduced holiday hours