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Retail to Survive and Thrive

And the Survey Says&
 
The National Retail Federation (NRF) of Washington, DC, has released the latest news about what things will always be winners through both the good and the bad economic times (www.nrf.com). The NRF gives a voice to the retail industry both in the US and abroad, and provides updates on legislative retail news. BIGresearch has done the survey, and the conclusions can help retailers develop a comprehensive marketing strategy. Over 4000 individuals participated in the survey.
 
More than 80 percent of Americans believe that internet is a necessity; this is the last thing that a consumer will let go of. Cell phone service trails slightly, with 64 percent believing that it is a requisite to good living, especially the text messaging feature of the phone. Women in particular skewed that percent higher, while men were more likely to say they could go without a cell phone. Cable television was a big winner too, with over 60 percent of the surveyed people saying they cannot live without it. 
 
Coming in at 43 percent was discount retail apparel. Consumers recognize that kids will always be outgrowing clothing, and see it as a necessity for living. While a hair cut or color job does not seem to be an absolute need, some Americans believe that it is (a full 40 percent won"t change their routine for anything). Fast food and shoes were put in the category of "untouchables- ... things that people say they have to have even in dire times.
 
What People Will Do Without
 
Bye-bye to luxury handbags; ditto for fine dining. Here is what people said they can function without when asked by BIGresearch:
               
  • 92 percent said that they will forego luxury bags
  • Almost 91 percent said they will sacrifice satellite radio
  • That same number said specialty apparel is expendable
  • Department store cosmetics are something 91 percent said they would forfeit
  • Maid service is on the short list for things to cut back on, with 90 percent willing to go without
  • Facials were rated by 89.8 percent of the population as something they will scale back on
 
Although luxury goods will always have a certain customer base, the middle class in America has shrinking wallets, and a shrinking desire to spend on specialty products.

By Adam Herschkowitz
Get Retail Jobs, Contributing Editor

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