BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Julie Edvalson relaxed Wednesday morning as she watched her 3 year old rip through the play area outside the Lego store at the Mall of America. She was almost done with her holiday shopping.
"This year my kids are very decided about what they want, and they weren't really asking for really big things this year. So that was pretty easy," the mother of 3 said. Like many Minnesotans, Edvalson will hold the line on holiday spending. "All of these temptations are coming out so it's a matter of staying on task for me," she said.
Retail experts at the University of St. Thomas agree. They released new research that found folks in and around the Twin Cities will spend 2.7% less this holiday season when compared to 2008.
"I thought that we would see a little bit of a bounce, instead we're seeing that we keep going to a little bit of a lower level (on spending)," Dr. Dave Brennan of the Opus College of Business said.
The average family plans to spend $637 this holiday season. 5 years ago, the average family planned to spend $796 over the holidays. Last year, that dollar amount was estimated at $663.
If we spend less, does that mean things will cost less this year? "The price deflation is beginning to subside. I think we may well end up spending slightly more," Brennan said. Prices may be up because of what happened to retailers last year, when shoppers didn't spend and retailers were left with a huge overstock of stuff they couldn't get rid of. Brennan says the stores won't make that mistake again.
Researchers also wanted to know what consumers will buy this season. Gift certificates topped the list, followed by clothing and books.
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