The majority of adults in the United States (69% of them) reveal that they plan to spend less on retail shopping this year than they did in 2008. Random telephone interviews conducted nationwide in the 2009 Consumer Shopping Intentions Study also indicate however, that 58% of young adults age 18-24 plan to spend the same or more in 2009.
The research, performed as a follow up to a 2008 shopping study, shows that while shoppers are optimistic about the economy in 2009, they plan to spend less overall this year, and are most interested in consistent low prices and value rather than so-called “bargains”.
Mass merchants like Target and Walmart are expected to do well because purchasers, even in higher tax brackets, aren’t expected to be shopping for flashy or big ticket items.
Although the study predicts that shoppers will be moving away from department stores toward discount stores, it also indicates that larger selections, especially in the clothing sector, will continue to draw in buyers.
Now the trick is to apply your knowledge of shopping trends for this year so that YOUR business will benefit. We’ve talked in recent posts about launching loyalty programs and using promotional items to attract new customers and to engender loyalty in current customers in a down economy.
This data suggests that you should also think about ways your business can cater to the younger crowd – perhaps you could hold some classes on sewing or how-to projects that highlight items you sell. Craft kits, step-by-step instructions and learning activities are all great for the younger crowd. If you have a retail store – keep it light and casual, go for a modern look if possible, and stock some trendy low priced items to draw in impulse shoppers.