Holiday shopping trends in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tom Compernolle, principal at Chicago-based Deloitte Consulting, speaks on holiday shopping trends.

Q: What's the overall economic outlook for Chicago area shoppers this year?
A: Spending conscious
Chicago area survey respondents are more spending conscious this year, with 84% planning to spend the same or less on the holidays than they did last year. This could explain why Chicagoans are more focused on buying items on sale than national survey respondents and more focused on sales/couponing than they were last year.

Q: What types of shopping trends are you seeing?
A: Local shoppers want convenience and savings
The Deloitte survey showed that Chicagoland respondents value flexibility more than national consumers. Extended holiday hours and discounts on expedited shipping are more important to Chicagoans than to shoppers nationally.

Q: How big will today (Black Friday) be for retailers?
A: It's becoming less important
The Deloitte survey found that Chicago area consumers continue to rely less on traditional shopping days (e.g., Black Friday and Cyber Monday) for holiday shopping. Only 10 percent of Chicago customers surveyed plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping on Black Friday. This represents a 2 percent decrease from last year.

Q: Are most shoppers going into stores or doing their shopping online?
A: Both
The Deloitte survey found that Chicago area respondents are shopping online and in discount/value department stores in equal numbers. About 44 percent said they'll do the majority of shopping online and 44 percent said they'll do the majority of their shopping in discount/value department stores.

Q: What are the top gifts Chicagoans are looking for?
A: Clothing and gift cards/gift certificates
The Deloitte survey found that 53 percent of Chicago area respondent said that clothing was the top gift item on their list. Another 45 percent of Chicago area respondents named gift cards or gift certificates as their top gift choice.

Q: How about data security while shopping: does it matter to Chicagoans?
A: Yes, but not as much as shoppers surveyed in other parts of the country
Chicago consumers are less concerned about data protection than consumers nationally. While data protection tops the list of online concerns for Chicago shoppers, those concerns are less widespread locally than they are nationally. About 13 percent of Chicago respondents will not shop at a retailer that has experienced a data breach this holiday season, versus a 19 percent national average. However, Chicagoans are more concerned this year than they were last year.
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