The percentages of consumers planning to purchase TVs and jewelry in the next six months are up compared to August 2010, according to the August 2011 BIGresearch Consumer Intentions and Actions survey. Meanwhile, intentions to purchase computers in the next six months have notably dropped in the last six months.
Slightly more than 10% of US adults 18 and older intend to buy a TV in the next six months, compared to slightly less than 10% last year. The percentage of consumers intending to buy jewelry/watches has also risen by a percentage point or two, although the total is still less than 5%. Other big ticket items with slight (less than one percentage point) year-over-year increases in planned purchases include cars/trucks, furniture, houses, mobile devices, and digital cameras.
Meanwhile, there is a notable year-over-year decline in the percentage of consumers planning to buy a computer in the next six months, from slightly more than 15% to a percentage point or two less. Smaller drops occur in percentages planning to purchase major home improvements and vacation travel.
24/7 Convenience Draws Discount Shoppers
When consumers were asked to choose from several factors that influence their decision to shop at a particular type of retailer, the highest percentage (40.8%) said being open 24/7 is a reason to shop at a discount store such as Wal-Mart or Target. In addition, 39.1% said the meat/seafood department is a reason to shop at a warehouse club retailer such as Costco or Sam’s Club.
No other factor drew anywhere near as many shoppers to any particular retail vertical. The meat/seafood department is also the most popular reason for consumers to shop at traditional grocers such as Kroger and Publix (29.2%). Interestingly, double coupons were not a significant factor for discount or warehouse club stores and were only cited by 18.2% of traditional grocery store shoppers.
8 in 10 Adults Say Tablets are Hot
When asked whether a variety of products and trends are hot, the highest percentage (80%) of adults said tablets are hot, followed by ebooks (70%) and Apple iPhone 5 (60%). The only other products/trends rated hot by more than half of adults were the US women’s soccer team and the national debt.
In a reminder of how fickle the worlds of mobile technology and video games can be, the “Angry Birds” app was only rated hot by approximately 40% of respondents, making it the last product/trend to receive an overall “room temperature” rating from BIGresearch. Sheer hosiery/pantyhose and opaque tights came in with the lowest two scores, earning them an “ice cold” rating.
- This month nearly one in five (18.5%) respondents says that newest trends and styles are important when shopping for clothing, up 9% from a year ago (16.9%). Nearly half (47.9%) relies on value and comfort, while a third (33.6%) prefers a traditional conservative look.
- 77% of respondents say the price of gas is still affecting their budgets.
- Consumers are maximizing their budgets through strategies including: shopping for sales more often (44.5%), taking fewer shopping trips (43.4%), shopping closer to home (42.1%), using coupons more (39.7%), and buying more store brand/generics (36.5%).
Consumer Reports: Spending Looks Promising
The Consumer Reports Past 30-Day Retail Index, reflecting July 2011 activity, is 12, up from 10.2 the prior month. The Consumer Reports Next 30-Day Retail Index, reflecting planned purchasing in August, rose to 9.3 from 7.7 the prior month.
Looking in detail at the categories comprising the Consumer Reports Past 30-Day Retail Index, the month’s improvements from July to August stemmed from gains in small appliances (22 % compared to 15.9%), major home electronics (13.3% compared to 10.1%) and personal electronics (22.8% compared to 20.6%).