Survey: Shoppers heading to Powers, Chapel Hills

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Shoppers are expected to hit the Powers Boulevard corridor, where the First & Main Towncenter retail development is. Photo by Rebecca Tonn

Shoppers are expected to hit the Powers Boulevard corridor, where the First & Main Town Center retail development is. Photo by Rebecca Tonn

The big retail winners this holiday season could be the Chapel Hills Mall and the Powers Boulevard corridor, said a recent University of Colorado at Colorado Springs’ College of Business and Administration shopper survey.

About half the people surveyed plan to shop at either location, with about a third choosing to do most of their shopping online – something that does not bode well for Colorado Springs sales tax revenues, professors said.

As shoppers grow more comfortable with online retailers, cities and counties will see sales tax revenues shrink, said UCCS professor Sam White, who performed the retail section of the quarterly survey.

But not all the news is jolly – only 2.1 percent of the respondents plan to shop at or near the Citadel Mall – something local retailers will find disheartening, White said. In fact, the survey suggests that some of the retailers in that area might be forced to close if their holiday sales don’t match expectations.

And expectations aren’t very high this season. While most consumers plan to spend about the same as last year, one third anticipate spending less – and only 7 percent expect to spend more, the survey said.

Retailers nationwide are hoping for a better holiday season than they had during August’s back to school events.

“A number of reasons appear to influence anticipated holiday gift expenditures in 2009,” White said.

“Reports were consistent with household budget constraints. Concerns about income levels, job security and debt reduction were frequently cited as the most likely factors to influence holiday spending plans. A little more than twice as many people have experienced decreased income over the past year when compared to those experiencing increasing income.”