North Texas tops in-store shopping survey

No region surpasses North Texas when it comes to in-store shopping, according to Deloitte’s 30th annual survey of national consumer holiday spending.

According to the newly released study, North Texas ranks first among the nation’s big retail markets for shoppers planning their holiday spending on in-store shopping.

That’s one of several findings of the study, which highlights trends and expectations among shoppers in Fort Worth, Dallas and Denton markets.

According to the survey, a majority of local shoppers say the economy is either in a better position or has stabilized since last season. They also said they are more likely to start their holiday shopping early (28 percent of shoppers) compared to the 23 percent national average.

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Survey respondents also said they are more likely to use store coupons (54 percent) compared to the national average of 47 percent. Those surveyed said they plan to spend $420 on socializing away from home, about 38 percent more than last year and higher than the national average. They also said they plan to spend more on entertaining at home.

Almost half said they buy gifts for themselves when shopping for others, more than last year.

Despite concerns about retail data breaches, survey respondents said they are more forgiving than the national average of stores hit by hackers.

“For North Texans, holiday shopping is more than just a yearly task, it’s an experience,” said Gene Monacelli, principal at Deloitte Consulting in Dallas, commenting in a news release.

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“They are more comfortable with traditional methods of shopping, preferring to go in-store to see and touch the products, even inviting along friends to join them,” Monacelli said.

With the influence of smartphones and online retailers, North Texas shoppers are still more inclined to purchase products in-store, Monacelli said.

“They also prefer shopping with others for holiday gifts, rather than shopping alone, to make it more of a social activity – more so than any other market.”

Deloitte commissioned the online survey, conducted Sept. 11-25, 2015 by an independent research company. It polled 4,009 consumers nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 to 2 percentage points, according to Deloitte.

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The North Texas survey of 404 consumers in the Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton areas has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 to 6 percentage points.