A new survey predicts spending by Twin Cities consumers for the 2012 holiday season will increase 10 percent from year ago _ with Rosedale Center still one of the top destinations for shoppers.
Those were among key findings in the 11th annual University of St. Thomas Holiday Spending Sentiment survey, which was released Wednesday.
The survey of 304 consumers from the 13-county metro area was conducted in late October. It measures the intent of Twin Cities shoppers: how much they think they will spend for holiday gifts, what they will spend it on, and where they will spend it, said officials from St. Thomas' Opus College of Business.
When survey respondents were asked where they plan to do most of their holiday shopping this year, Rosedale Center placed second among 14 regional shopping malls or areas. The Roseville mall was only topped by the Mall of America in Bloomington,
The rest of the list was as follows: Ridgedale, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Arbor Lakes, Woodbury Lakes, Riverdale, Southdale, Maplewood, downtown Minneapolis, Albertville, Northtown and downtown St. Paul.
This was only the second time that Rosedale didn't finish No. 1 on the most-shopped list, St. Thomas researchers said.
In a Q and A session with reporters, St. Thomas marketing professor Lorman Lundsten said Rosedale was beat out for first place by only a scant margin. Industry observers said the Roseville mall continues to be a top shopping destination because of its central location in the Twin Cities and its strong mix of stores.
The biggest gainer on the survey's most-shopped list was Woodbury Lakes, which moved up seven spots, from 13 to sixth place, according to the St. Thomas researchers.
Eden Prairie moved up four spots, from ninth to fifth; while Southdale in Edina fell three places, from sixth to ninth.
Once consumers get out shopping, the survey indicates they will be decidedly more free wheeling in their spending this holiday season.
Household spending is predicted to rise 9.95 percent from a year ago, three times last year's projected 3.4 percent gain, the researchers said. This year's result is the third year of projected gains after consumer spending slumped in 2007 through 2009 during the recession.
Lundsten contended that one reason for the Twin Cities' more robust holiday spending outlook than the nation as a whole is that the local economy here is relatively strong, that consumers who have jobs are less worried about losing them. "We're a more cheerful place to be than Detroit, Michigan or New York City," he said.
This year's predicted household spending for holiday gifts, $773, is up from $703 last year and $680 in 2010.
“There is no doubt that many people in this region suffered from the recession, and continue to suffer,” said Jon Seltzer, a one of survey researchers. “There are home mortgages that are under water and households with large credit-card debt. But compared to some regions of the country that were hit especially hard, the worst fears were not realized here in the Twin Cities.”
Based on survey responses and the population of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, the researchers predict that metro-area shoppers will cumulatively spend slightly more than $1 billion this year, up 9.3 percent from last year’s predicted $915 million. This year’s predicted spend is the highest in the 11 years of the survey; the previous high was $959 million in 2004.
The university’s predicted increase in household spending of 9.95 percent compares to the nationally projected increases by Deloitte & Touche at 3.5 to 4 percent, the National Retail Federation at 4.1 percent and the International Council of Shopping Centers at 3 percent.
Lundsten attributed the university's higher projected spending percentage to the survey's slightly broader definition of what is included in holiday spending,