CONSUMERS SHAKE OFF JITTERS, RETURN TO SPENDING

THE TENNESSEAN
Dec 14, 2009

Projections of brisk online sales through Christmas and a more upbeat retail sales report for November from the U.S. Department of Commerce has some retail analysts and store owners hopeful that shoppers are emerging from their cocoons with cash in hand.

Mark Ratchford, a Vanderbilt assistant professor of marketing, said he buys the majority of his purchases online because it's convenient and easy to comparison shop. Plus, he hates crowds.

"I think people are increasingly comfortable buying online," said Ratchford, who works at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management. "I think you get a segment of consumers like myself, that if you're not offering it online, I'm not going to come to the physical store."

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