Amid the ‘new normal’ of stay-at-home orders, spending on groceries and in-home entertainment is on the rise, a new report measuring US consumer behavior finds.
Produced by research firm Alexander Babbage, the report tracked consumers by generation across a number of behaviors, activities, and attitudes. The firm collected data from a representative sampling of Americans on March 20 and March 27 to create the Babbage Pulse. Data will continue to be collected bi-weekly to determine changes in consumption, attitudes, and trends as greater portions of the country are impacted by the pandemic.
Some of the key findings in the Babbage Pulse include:
- The economic stimulus plan announced on March 27 has provided some reassurance, as economic concerns decreased while safety concerns increased.
- Overall, online shopping spending changed little from week one to week two, with online spending for apparel and clothing trending downward.
- Grocery shopping and in-home entertainment were the only consumer spending categories to see an increase in spending over the past week while all other categories saw major declines.
- All generations increased their spending on in-store grocery purchases
- All generations except baby boomers increased their online spending for grocery items.
- Spending on in-home entertainment increased across all generations. Gen Z saw the largest increase, with 37% reporting spending more than usual.
- Spending at take-out restaurants trended down across the board from week 1 to week 2, with baby boomers most likely to decrease their spending.
- In the coming week, consumers are expected to increase their online grocery shopping.
Additional key generational findings include:
- While Gen Xers felt the most informed about COVID-19, baby boomers felt the least informed.
- Gen Xers were the most concerned about personal health, followed by Millennials and then baby boomers. In spite of their concerns, however, Millennials and Gen Xers are slightly less likely to avoid crowds than baby boomers.
“We wanted to be able to track consumer attitudes, behaviors, and spending in light of the coronavirus,” says Alan McKeon, president and CEO. “Our expectation is that, as we move into the recovery phase of this pandemic, insights into consumer attitudes, behaviors, and visitation behavior will provide useful insights that accelerate recovery for shopping centers.”