Summerville-based consumer group’s survey predicts shoppers to come out over holiday weekend

Americans are trending toward shopping more on holiday weekends, and Memorial Day weekend should be no exception, according to Summerville-based America’s Research Group.

Based on two surveys in late March and late April, the number of Americans delaying their shopping to Memorial Day weekend is at an all-time high, according to Britt Beemer, the firm’s chairman. That’s in keeping with the firm’s findings last fall that showed Americans are holding off on shopping until big holiday weekends.

“This used to be an effect that was the private reserve of ‘Black Friday,’ ” Beemer said, “but beginning with our October survey, which showed Americans delaying in record numbers, shoppers have begun using the ‘hold-it-until-the-holiday’ tactic in a much broader and more significant way.

“This was further reinforced by our January 2012 survey, which predicted that President’s Day would be huge, which it was. Now, for the first time, Memorial Day weekend is set to be the biggest in our 33-year survey history,” he said.

More than 6 percent of shoppers in March and 21 percent in April reported that they are delaying their shopping plans until Memorial Day weekend. A year ago, less than 3 percent of shoppers in March and only 11 percent of shoppers in April were waiting until Memorial Day, according to the survey.

“This is a major shift in the retail landscape,” Beemer said. “Not only are Americans delaying, but they are also making a weekend that was once thought of as the start of summer ... into one that is akin to Black Friday, a time to clip coupons, look for sales and pick up items that Americans need or wants.”

Beemer estimates that shopping levels will exceed 35 percent compared with 2011, and spending levels will depend on the sale offers and the discounts when shoppers get into the stores.

The former Lava Salon site in Avondale is the home of a new trendy paint and wine-sipping business: pARTy and Paint Charleston. It is open at 829-B Savannah Highway. Stephanie McGillicuddy is the owner. It’s open seven days a week. Visit

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Merrill Benfield Design & Decoration at 28 Hasell St. is closing its retail showroom of antiques and interior design offerings and will focus on its interior design service business.

Benfield said the retail aspect has vanished and he plans to maintain the business at East Bay and Hasell streets as his design office.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524, or