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Aussies are staying at home more in hard economic times

By Lema Samandar
01 Dec 2008 4:22 PM

SYDNEY, Dec 1 AAP - Aussies are having a quiet one at home as they prepare to scale back on eating and entertaining out of home, a study has found.

During these challenging economic times, there is a trend for consumers to cut back on large purchases while continuing to spend on little luxuries.

Research by discount furniture and homewares retailer IKEA, found that three in four Australians believe that by being smarter with their money, their standard of living won't be compromised.

With this is mind, 85 per cent of people want to save money by trading time out, for time at home.

They are cutting back on activities such as eating out, concerts and spending less at the pub.

While these activities may be put on the backburner, consumers are making their time at home more special by increasing their spend on home furnishings and at home activities.

Particularly, buying or renting DVDs, buying nicer ingredients to cook special meals at home and new outdoor furniture and accessories are topping the list of priorities.

FW Holst retail analyst David Spry said weak consumer confidence has made it tough for discretionary retailers but discount stores could expect to reap the benefits.

"I would expect discount retailers to continue to do quite well in this environment," Mr Spry said of the calender 2009 year.

IKEA stores in Australia have reported an increase in the sales of small items, such as lampshades, mirrors and rugs.

Discount retailers like electronics group JB Hi-Fi have recently reported sales rises, but most retailers have suffered.

Last week Harvey Norman said sales of plasma televisions, cameras and computers have been hit hard while upmarket department store David Jones plans for sales to fall over the next three quarters.