Guys Haven't Given Up on the Holidays, But Probably Won't Save Them

Retailers whose primary customer profile is men in their 30's may be able to look forward to a pretty good holiday season, but those who count on adult women to fill their coffers â€" and they are the most important shoppers for most stores â€" are not going to be happy with their results, at least according to a study by BIGresearch.

A profile of the consumer who will be spending more money this holiday season is of a man of about 37 and single, the BIGresearch study indicates. His consumer confidence is relatively high, 57 percent on the BIGresearch scale, and he is not very concerned about being laid off, at least at this point in the recession. On the other hand, the consumer who plans to pinch pennies through the end of this year is female, about 47 and married. Her consumer confidence level is fairly abysmal, hovering at about 22 percent on the scale, but she's only modestly concerned about being laid off.

Even if some of the guys want to spend for the holidays, only 3.8 percent of consumers overall plan to increase their allotment on gifts this year, the BIGresearch study states, down from the 4.7 percent and 6.9 percent last year and two annums earlier. Just over 29 percent plan to spend the same, versus 31 percent in '08 and 37 percent in '07 while 40 percent are budgeting less for gifts versus 39 percent a year ago and 31 percent two years past. Yet, not all hope is lost for the season of hope as 22 percent of consumers say it's still too early to tell what they'll spend on the holidays. So some good economic news might give the holidays a boost and even if it's to barely mediocre results, that would be better than prospects appear now.