Rough holiday retail season expected, but silver bells could still ring for retailers who understand shifts in people’s budgeting practices.

Stockings may not be as stuffed this year, as new research from Mintel reports that three in five Americans (60%) say they’re trying to stick to a budget more this year than they were last year. In an exclusive consumer survey done to understand budget shopping habits, Mintel found that over half of people in all income groups are trying to budget their money more than they did in 2007.

“Economic struggles—from rising food and energy prices to declining home values to spiraling consumer debt—are seriously impacting people’s shopping habits,” states David Morris, senior analyst at Mintel and editor of the new Budget Shopper report. “This coming retail season, we expect many people to tighten their purse strings even more, spending more consciously than they have in the past. Retailers need to recognize, empathize and quickly react to consumers’ need to budget their holiday gift and entertainment dollar.”

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