Commentary

Higher Gas Prices and Contributions Hurting Retailers, Except Online

Higher Gas Prices and Contributions Hurting Retailers, Except Online

The recent ShopperScape survey, from Retail Forward Inc., reports that a fifth of consumers who shop online increased their buying as the result of higher gasoline prices in September. 6.7% of consumers who shop online said they are shopping online much more as a result of high gas prices, while 15% said somewhat more. A previous survey, by Shopzilla.com, showed 40% of consumers increasing their online shopping as the result of higher gasoline prices.

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Steve Spiwak, an economist with Retail Forward, says "Higher energy costs are the main culprit for the falloff in spending intentions for October."

Two thirds of consumers reported that they are reducing spending in other areas to pay for more expensive gasoline. 31% said they are spending much less and 36% said somewhat less. Throughout all income categories, the report finds, more than half of consumers said they are spending less in other areas as a result of higher gasoline prices.

In addition, Americans' charitable contributions to hurricane relief are dampening their consumer spending.

  • 53% of consumers have made a monetary contribution to hurricane relief
  • 46% of consumers said they have cut back spending elsewhere as a result
  • 42% of consumers said the effect of the hurricanes will reduce their holiday shopping

The biggest losers in spending will be travel and entertainment, says the report. Areas where consumers will reduce their spending, and the percent who cited each one, are:

  • Vacations/travel, 45%
  • Dining out, 37%
  • Entertainment outside the home, 32%
  • Consumer electronics, 23%
  • Clothing, shoes and accessories, 23%
  • Home decorating, 22%
  • Appliances, 18%
  • Other, 4%

Find the complete article here.

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