Consumer Shopping Behaviors and Attitudes During an Economic Crisis

Experian Simmons takes an unprecedented look at the American consumer to review how certain retailers fared better than their competition during the past holiday shopping season

New York, N.Y., February 24, 2009 — We are clearly at a historic point in time for American consumers. Their reaction to the economic downturn has been and continues to be complex and sometimes unexpected. Understanding consumers’ reactions in this fast-moving economic environment likely will be a key factor in separating those companies that eventually emerge from the current crisis and those that do not. 

Experian® SimmonsSM, the oldest and most-trusted name in consumer research, has constructed a week-by-week look at consumer attitudes and behaviors that straddles the critical pre- and post-economic meltdown that occurred during mid-September 2008. We chose Oct. 2, 2008, as the pre- and post-meltdown boundary point after examining various economic indicators. These consumer insights are explained in a three-part series; with the first report highlighting people’s perceptions of their current and near future financial well-being as well as their intentions to purchase big and medium ticket items.    

The second briefing focuses on the holiday shopping behavior and attitudes of consumers from various income levels during the field period from Aug. 12, 2008, to Dec. 8, 2008. This report also illustrates how certain retailers fared better during this past holiday season as compared with their competitors. The third briefing, to be released during the week of Feb. 23, 2008, will look at dining out during an economic downturn.

To receive a free copy of the second briefing in the Experian Simmons series, please download it here. For more information, please contact Ellen Romer, senior vice president of Strategic Planning, at or 1 212 471 2870. To obtain a free copy of the first briefing of the Experian Simmons series, please contact Patricia Lao, senior marketing representative, at

About Experian Simmons
As the oldest and most-respected authority on consumer behavior, Experian Simmons has been the Voice of the American Consumer™ for over 50 years. Experian Simmons’ studies have chronicled everything from the products consumers buy and the brands they use to their lifestyles, attitudes and media preferences. With more than 60,000 data variables across almost 500 consumer categories, Experian Simmons’ studies constitute a database of exceptional breadth and depth — providing actionable insights that help clients connect with their most valuable customers. 

About Experian
Experian is a global leader in providing information, analytical and marketing services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.

Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organizations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage.

For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organizations from financial services, retail and catalog, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Experian has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and has operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Nottingham, UK. The Group employs approximately 15,500 people in 38 countries worldwide, supporting clients in more than 65 countries around the world. Revenue for the year ended March 31, 2008, was $4 billion.

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Patricia Lao
Experian Simmons
1 212 471 2881 Telephone Email

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