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Posts Tagged ‘recession

halloweenDespite economic gloom casting a spell on consumer confidence this year, America’s darkest holiday is looking bright for retailers.  According to industry research firm IBISWorld, Halloween sales are expected to reach a record-breaking $6 billion in 2009, up 4.2 percent from the $5.77 billion generated last year.

“Economic recovery appears to be around the corner and consumers are enthusiastically looking to escape their recessionary woes,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld.  “Even last year, when the outlook was much worse, the Halloween spirit remained unhindered as we saw total sales actually jump 5.1 percent from 2007.”

It appears an increasing number of people are buying treats this year, making candy the fastest growing holiday category. The average person is estimated to spend about $22.50 on Halloween treats in 2009.

Also fuelling this year’s record-breaking sales is the demand for holiday decorations.  With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, more adults are expected to join the fun.  In fact, 32 percent of people celebrating the holiday will either host or attend a party. For this reason, IBISWorld expects decorations to reach its highest level yet at $1.64 billion.

“Halloween-related festivities are a growing trend and this is driving sales of decorations and candy,” adds van Beeck.  “Dollar and variety stores stand to benefit from the 4.4 percent increase in decoration sales, as consumers look to purchase cheap and disposable thrills to make a memorable evening.”

Call it escapism or just good, old-fashioned fun, Americans of all ages show the desire to go all out when it comes to dressing-up.  Costumes are expected to generate the greatest amount of revenue this Halloween, but growth is slight (2.4 percent) as consumers will apply more frugal but creative approaches when shopping.

”Despite more people participating in festivities, money is still tight and consumers will look to cut corners when it comes costume purchases,” said van Beeck.  “Instead of buying a packaged costume, which can cost up to $60 on average, people will get more eclectic and opt for cheaper individual items.”

But given the lack of growth for the card category, not all cheaper items will fare well this year. While cards did well last year, as consumers chose to cut back on pricier categories, 2009 expenditures will revert back to traditional shopping habits.

“Although unemployment is still very high, the overall outlook is far rosier today than it was this time last year,” adds van Beeck.  “For this reason, IBISWorld expects the upward trend in Halloween expenditures to continue its course for 2009, which despite economic conditions will prove to be the best year yet.”

Photo by mailsparky

Photo by mailsparky

This year, 4.3 million babies will be born in the United States, representing a 0.4 percent decline from 2008.  While recessions typically lead to fewer birth rates, the latest research from Los Angeles-based IBISWorld shows that not only does parenting get pricier with time, but the impact of current economic conditions will further exacerbate the financial commitment.

“We can expect to see a surge in the boomerang generation [ages 18-24] returning home and continuing financial dependency on parents due to a scarce and competitive job market,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst at IBISWorld. “This phenomenon has become more apparent in recent years, with higher costs in tuition and rent making transitioning into adulthood increasingly difficult. Thanks to the recession, many parents will get prolonged time with their kids until the graduate’s debt is paid off or market conditions improve.”

From the moment of conception to age 18, the average cost of raising a child is about $227,862—which translates to an average cost of $12,658 a year.  A household yielding an annual income of less than $45,000 will spend roughly $156,469 on their child until they turn 18.  Incomes between $45,000 and $75,000 spend $214,829, while households earning $75,000 and above splurge over $312,286 by the time their teen graduate’s high school. Afterwards, parents can expect to shell out for college tuition, along with additional financial burdens induced by a stagnant economy.

Op Art Glam Tote $198

Op Art Glam Tote $198

Just because we’re in a recession doesn’t mean we have to look like it, right?  Well that’s Coach’s “new bag.”  The company has created a less expensive Poppy line to fit the times without cheapening it’s luxury image. 

According to Lew Frankfort, chief executive at Coach, the average price of the Poppy collection will be be $260, about 20 percent less than the usual. 

Main pieces from the new line were tested in nine Coach stores and 23 department stores this spring.  Two bags that did better than expected were the Groovy and the Glam (pictured). 

To check out the Poppy line, click here.

DEAL ALERT! If you’ve got a Facebook account you can become of a fan of Coach and get a free gift!  By entering your email address and registering online to their new Poppy fashion line, you will get a print out for a free set of pencils in a stylish little box. Take the print out to your favorite Coach store and enjoy your free gift!  But, supplies are limited, so you better act fast.

Photo by lusi

Photo by lusi

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) conducted a new survey about the effect of the current economic crisis on women and their families’ mental health. Here are some of the highlights of the survey of women ages 30 – 54 years:

More than two-thirds (68%) of women feel the current economic crisis has had a negative impact on them and their families.

More than half (55%) said the current problems with the economy have had a negative impact on their mental health.

Despite the negative impact on their mental well-being, most of the women prioritized others’ needs and other responsibilities over their own mental and physical health.

Although 76 percent of women polled say they are participating in more positive activities than they were six months ago, they also report sharp increases in stress, anxiety, frustration and other negative mental health indicators over the same time period.
 
The survey reiterates a woman’s tendency to put others’ needs before her own, and shows how important it is that she addresses her own mental health needs so she can more effectively address the needs of her family. HealthyMinds.org offers women and their families information on mental health and the economy as well as a variety of other mental health topics.

Photo by petr0

Photo by petr0

Despite the economic downturn and retail sales plummeting, this Father ’s Day it looks like dads are going from handyman to dandyman, as sales of pampering services and related products are expected to increase 35.7 percent, according to industry research firm IBISWorld

Although pampering services only accounts for a small portion of total Father’s Day spending on the nation’s 66.3 million dads as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, pampering is emerging as this holiday’s fastest growing gift category with consumers expected to spend $190 million compared to $140 million in 2008.

“Traditional Father’s Day gifts, such as tools and electronics are declining this year while spa services, personal care products, and greeting cards are increasing,” explained Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld.  “It seems that ‘New Age’ dads are this year’s fad.”   Mr. van Beeck added, “According the U.S. Census Bureau, there are an estimated 66.3 million fathers in the nation today which demonstrates the impact spending on Father’s Day has on the U.S. economy.”

memorial spending

This Memorial Day it’s all about savings, as consumers look to cut costs while still maintaining a fun three-day weekend.  Fortunately savvy shoppers, who purchase store brands over brand-name products, stand to save 16.3 percent on their total holiday grocery bill, according to IBISWorld research to the left.

“In essence, store brands turn the clock back two to three years,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “Without inflation, store-brand groceries this Memorial Day weekend are comparable in price to brand-name groceries during the 2007 holiday.”  

 Based on the average holiday shopping cart above, the 16.3 percent savings puts about $10 back into consumers’ pockets.  That means with approximately 117,641,000 households in the U.S., the nation could save about $1.18 billion if everyone celebrated Memorial Day in the same fashion and went the store-brand route as opposed to the brand name route.

bridesWith the recession in full force, many people are putting off their engagement ring shopping until better times.  But, thanks to the hot new trend of band stacking, you can now move forward with your wedding plans and still be chic – for cheap.  Women these days are passing on the giant solitaire and instead opting for two, three or even four wedding bands! 

The trick is to choose different stone shapes, colors and sizes (like the photo). For those even more daring, throw in a yellow-gold band among your white-gold, platinum or silver bands.  

The trend of stacking wedding bands is ultra glamorous; so no one ever has to know that you can’t afford a giant rock.  Marvelous!


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