Coffee, jeans, shoes still selling
Despite economic uncertainty, there are certain items and services consumers refuse to live without.
Little luxuries like gourmet coffee, new jeans and shoes are some items Americans won't cut back on, according to a new survey conducted by BIGinsight and published in the February edition of STORES magazine, the official magazine of the National Retail Federation.
On-demand video streaming and upgraded mobile devices have found staying power in recent years, and consumers are more inclined to give up high-end jewelry, maid services and magazine subscriptions, the poll found.
“Economic ups and downs have an irrefutable impact on Americans' spending habits that extends well beyond gas and groceries and over the past five years, many consumers have had to rein in spending as fiscal woes plagued budgets,” STORES Editor Susan Reda said. “The most recent findings suggest that consumers are loosening the grip they've had on their wallets — though admittedly just slightly.”
Products and services consumers deem “untouchable” include Internet service, basic cellphone service, basic cable TV, discount shopping for clothing and a hair cut/color. Expendables include high-end jewelry, luxury handbags, maid service, club memberships and high-end cosmetics.
Fewer adults cut back on items and services in 2012 (53.9 percent compared to the 76.4 percent who did in 2011.) And perhaps a sign that consumers are adjusting to the new normal of economic uncertainty, fewer people surveyed said they'd cut back on certain categories of “little luxuries” in 2012 than in 2011. For example, 40 percent said they cut back on a daily cup of gourmet coffee in 2011; last year, 28.8 percent said they did.
Jennifer Palmer, Business Writer