Shoppers under the influence appear to have influence on retail sales.
According to new data from the Finder Consumer Confidence Index, 17% of roughly 2,100 surveyed U.S. consumers have made a purchase while under the influence of alcohol in the past 12 months, spending roughly $309 each for a total of $14 billion.
The top two drunk shopping categories are shoes, clothes or accessories, and food, with 47% of respondents who have shopped drunk saying they bought items in these categories. Other popular drunk spending categories were alcohol, cigarettes, and gambling, all tied with participation of 34% of eligible respondents.
Motor vehicles come out as the most expensive category at an average spend of $2,038, although it was the lowest-ranked category (besides “other) with 16% of respondents who have shopped drunk in the past year purchasing a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Men and women shop drunk differently
Examining responses by gender, the survey found that roughly one in four male respondents (26%) say they have made a purchase under the influence in the last year, which is 2.5 times the rate of surveyed women (10%). The top drunk shopping option for women are shoes, clothes or accessories (50% of women vs. 46% of men), whereas men are most likely to buy food (47% vs. 15%).
In every category except shoes, clothes or accessories, male respondents were far more likely to have made a drunk purchase than female respondents. Some of the categories with the widest male-female discrepancies include cigarettes (42% vs. 5%), music (29% vs. 4%), furniture (21% vs. 2%), and motor vehicles (20% vs. 2%).
Generational, regional and income differences
The survey also revealed differences in drunk shopping habits by generation, region, and income:
- Millennial respondents had the highest rate of shopping under the influence (33%), followed by Gen Z (28%), Gen X (8%) and baby boomers (2%).
- Twenty percent of respondents living in the West have shopped drunk in the past year, followed by South (18%), Northeast (17%), and Midwest (15%).
- Respondents earning more than $100,000 (26%) are almost twice as likely to drunk shop as those who earn under $100,000 (15%).
Survey: Intoxication helps drive online purchases
A fall 2022 survey of over 1,000 regular online shoppers from personal finance membership group SoFi indicates drunk shopping may be more prevalent in the e-commerce channel. A majority (53%) of respondents admitted they haven’t been sober when making an online purchase. Men were more likely to shop while intoxicated than women, with 60% saying they’d shopped online while not sober, compared to 40% of women who said the same.