Consumers Plan to Spend Rebate Checks on Necessities

Consumers plan to spend about 40 percent of their tax rebate checks on necessities like gas and food rather than items like electronics and apparel, according to a new survey prepared for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch.

In turn, many retailers are trying to cook up creative promotions to give customers an extra incentive to shop with them, said Phil Rist, a vice president with the research group. "Some retailers are helping customers stretch the value of their rebate check further by tacking on an additional 10 percent to gift cards purchases or holding special in-store promotions."

The survey found that women are more likely to spend or save portions of their rebate checks while men are more likely to pay down debt. Young adults ages 18 to 24 are more likely to spend their checks than any other age group.

President Bush in February signed a bill providing $152 billion in tax rebate checks of up to $600 per working individual and $1,200 for married couples, plus $300 per child to families with children. The law also includes some tax incentives for businesses.

Small Business Readers: Are there any small businesses out there that are cooking up innovative ways to entice shoppers to spend their rebate checks in their stores or online? Please post your comments below.

By Sharon McLoone |  May 16, 2008; 11:49 AM ET Data Points
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That's 152 Billion with a B

Posted by: Mark | May 20, 2008 3:24 AM

Thanks. We've corrected the million/billion error.

Posted by: washingtonpost.com | May 30, 2008 2:25 PM

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