Survey: Environmental Issues Affected Holiday Spending
Earth and global manufacturing issues increasingly figure into
consumers' spending decisions, with a vast majority of holiday shoppers
expressing a willingness to pay more for eco-friendly gifts and taking
note of the country where items were made, says the 2007 Annual
National Shopping Behavior Survey by audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP.
In addition, money was tighter this year. While an average of 36
percent of shoppers previously reported spending more each year during
similar surveys from 2003 to 2006, just 30 percent of respondents in
2007 said they spent more than the preceding holiday season on gifts.
"When consumers had the opportunity, they purchased gifts to fit
their social conscience," said John Rittenhouse, a KPMG retail partner
and national leader for Operations Risk Management. "The
'green-quotient' and a product's country of origin have become
important reputational concerns for shoppers, due mainly to recent
publicity on the environment and manufacturing issues in emerging
Some 88 percent of the survey respondents, Rittenhouse said, were
concerned about the environment, 74 percent indicated they buy
environmentally friendly products, 60 percent were willing to pay more
for such items, and 55 percent say they make a special effort to
patronize retailers with a "green" reputation.
In addition, 40 percent of consumers said they checked the country
of origin on potential gifts, with 31 percent using such information to
decide against a purchase.