UPDATE 1-U.S. per capita holiday spending seen up 1 pct-NRF

* Consumers plan to spend $688.87 on average

* First rise since 2007

* Average of $393.55 expected to be spent on family
(Adds ShopperTrak report)

By Brad Dorfman

CHICAGO, Oct 19 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. shoppers plan to part with
more of their cash during the coming holiday season for the
first time since a recession took hold three years ago,
according to a retailing trade group’s survey.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday
shopping this year, an increase of 1 percent from 2009,
according to the survey released overnight by the National
Retail Federation. The survey was conducted by BIGresearch from
Oct. 5-12, and polled 8,767 people.

The NRF has forecast total retail sales growth of 2.3
percent for the November-to-December period this year. Its
survey of spending plans per capita shows consumers are
slightly less concerned about high unemployment and a tepid
economic recovery than a year ago.

Some 61.7 percent said the economy will affect their
spending, down from 65.3 percent a year earlier.

In another sign of an improved consumer appetite, fewer
shoppers said discounts would be a determining factor in their
purchases. Just less than 41.8 percent said markdowns would be
an important factor, down from 43.3 percent in 2009.

In a sign that could cut into sales at lower-priced
retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: ), 65.1 percent
said they would buy something at a discounter, down from 70.1
percent last year.

A separate report from research firm ShopperTrak forecast
that sales would rise 2.9 percent this holiday season as
consumers continue hunting for bargains and visit stores less
frequently. [ID:nN19118864]

U.S. consumers have gone shopping less often in 2010, but
they spent more per visit because shopping trips were planned
around deals and promotions. ShopperTrak said it expects that
trend to continue during November and December.

According to the NRF, consumers are paying more attention
to customer service, with 5.3 percent saying it would have an
impact on their purchasing, up from 4.4 percent in 2009. The
importance of product quality also rose for 12.7 percent of
respondents, from 11.8 percent a year ago.

Just more than 57 percent of people surveyed said they
would use holiday sales to buy something for themselves,
compared with 52.9 percent in 2009.

This year, consumers plan to spend $393.55 on gifts for
family, $71.45 on gifts for friends, $18.26 on co-workers and
$34.82 for others. Total 2010 gift spending is expected to rise
2.1, with the remainder of money being used for decorations,
greeting cards and postage, candy, food and flowers.
(Reporting by Brad Dorfman, with additional reporting by Phil
Wahba and Jon Lentz; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Maureen
Bavdek)

UPDATE 1-U.S. per capita holiday spending seen up 1 pct-NRF