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TEXT OF STORY
Bill Radke: Good luck getting to work today on the East Coast. I don’t have to tell you, driving is treacherous. For retailers, the timing of the weekend’s snow storm was terrible — it’s just before Christmas and people can’t get to your store? Wouldn’t be so bad if shoppers had all their buying done early, but Marketplace’s Brett Neely reports that’s not the case — especially this year.
Brett Neely: When it comes to retail, 2009 will go down as the Year of Procrastination, says Ed Ferrell with Consumer Reports:
Ed Ferrell: Right now, we have 40 percent of adults who haven’t yet begun holiday shopping yet.
And those procrastinators are buying fewer gifts for fewer people.
Marshal Cohen is a retail analyst with the NPD Group:
Marshal Cohen: The consumer has 10 people on their list which compares to normally 14 to 15 people on their list.
Cohen says the biggest sellers this shopping season aren’t really gifts. Shoppers are buying refrigerators and other big appliances.
Cohen: Consumers have been so thrifty for so long, they’re basically saying, if I need something, we’re going to go out and buy it.
That’s bad news for luxury retailers. Instead, Consumer Reports says shoppers are headed to Wal-Mart and Target looking for the deepest bargains.
In Washington, I’m Brett Neely for Marketplace.