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Shopping behavior changing with economy


NEW YORK So, how is the economy, between housing problems, gas prices and general malaise, affecting consumer shopping behavior? A study by Vertis Communications looked at various aspects of the impact and made the following determinations:

·     64% of consumers say they are shopping closer to home with women of all ages driving less to buy.   ·     59% of consumers say they are combining shopping trips, with teens and older women most likely to adopt the strategy.   ·     51% of consumers say they are purchasing fewer non-essential luxury items with ­ and this might bust a few stereotypes -- teen and middle-aged females most likely to give up the frills.

In the general sense, the Vertis study indicates that 91% of consumers said they changed their general and 80% specific shopping behaviors due to the economy while 60% say they are cutting back on purchasing overall. Less than half of consumers said they are making fewer purchases of $100 or more, stocking up more, researching more products prior to shopping or buying more on line.

The close association between less driving and frugality are particularly interesting. After all, the Sunbelt regions that have been hit hardest in the current economy, mainly due to mortgage and housing problems, are also among those where driving, and driving significant distances, is commonplace. Thus, neighborhood oriented retailers may have an advantage in the market currently versus less heavily penetrated destinations.

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