Survey predicts more phone shopping

Telephone shopping is likely to increase in the future. According to a survey of 1,418 ''principally female decision makers'' in American households, released and partially underwritten by AT&T, 85 percent of those surveyed agreed that telephone shopping would enable them to shop at stores not in their immediate area.

Seventy-four percent said they were likely to do more telephone shopping as time went on, and 79 percent said they would use the phone to save themselves a trip to the store for such items as domestics, linens, personal items, and small appliances. Eighty-nine percent said phone shopping would encourage them to order an item they had inspected in the store and then decided to buy at some later date.

Sixty-eight percent felt it would be a good idea for stores to develop programs to call customers about sales or special items in which the customer had expressed an interest.

On the negative side, 6l percent agreed that there would be greater risk of getting poor quality in merchandise when shopping by phone as opposed to shopping in the store.

The study, as reported in the trade paper Retailing Home Furnishings, was made by Jerry Thomas, a doctoral candidate at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

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