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Shoppers with kids or in lower-income brackets are the most likely groups to postpone or cut out purchases, according to a new study from Information Resources, Inc.
The study, “Competing in a Transforming Economy 4.0: The New Equilibrium,” found that 62 percent of households with children have postponed non-grocery purchases, compared with 52 percent of childless households in the same income bracket.
A similar pattern can be seen in spending on favorite activities, with 56 percent of homes with children sacrificing, vs. 47 percent of those without kids in the same income bracket. The study was derived from a poll of 1,000 consumers as well as other IRI sources.
That’s not to say consumers with children are entirely depriving themselves. The report shows that this group is more likely to seek out small treats or “affordable indulgences,” than those without children (61 percent vs. 47 percent of consumers making over $55,000).
Overall, consumers are changing their definition of what’s essential. While 60 percent of those earning under $35,000 agrees with this statement, only 34 percent of those earning more than $100,000 said the same.
The report said that this could result in a long-term shift in spending strategies. “Since the beginning of 2009, a new consumer equilibrium has emerged in which behaviors initially implemented to weather the storm have the potential to last well beyond an economic recovery,” noted Thom Blischok, consulting and innovation president of Chicago-based IRI.
Of the respondents earning less than $35,000, 69 percent said they were delaying non-grocery purchases. Sixty-three percent of those earning $35,000 to $54,000 said the same, while 59 percent of those earning $55,000 to $100,000 are delaying purchases.