How Consumer Spending Will Change With More People Vaccinated

CNBC | April 11, 2021

As airport and store traffic pick up again, companies are trying to predict consumers’ mindset and spending patterns after they get vaccinated for Covid-19. Here are 4 predictions of post-pandemic trends:

Safety protocols are here to stay - In the U.S., nearly one in three consumers reported being extremely/very concerned about physical health, and roughly one in four said they were extremely/very concerned about mental health, according to the report from earlier this month. Target said it will factor safety into future store design, including more contactless features and more room between merchandise and checkout lanes.

Grocery shopping habits shifting -

Home offices, curbside pickup and lots of cooking practice will factor into people’s food shopping habits. Among U.S. consumers, 30% said they plan to spend more on grocery and 44% said they will spend less on dining out post-vaccine compared with what they spent in those areas before the pandemic. Before the health crisis, about 7% of grocery shopping was done online, according to a report by Mastercard Economics Institute. That share is expected to rise to about 9% of grocery sales, retaining 70% to 80% of the digital gains that grocery saw during the peak of the pandemic.

Younger consumers are eager to shop -

Teens and twenty somethings are spending money on post-Covid purchases, such as apparel and handbags, and they’re also more eager than other generations to interact with people outside of their household. Nearly 30% of upper-income female teens’ wallets are going toward clothing. Handbag spending rose to $93 per teen, an increase of 4% year over year. Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh told CNBC the pandemic has inspired fashion trending away from skinny jeans, now they want wide-leg and baggier denim.

Contactless everything - Shoppers may have opted for drive-thrus and curbside pickup over the past year. The convenience of the approach and will keep them coming back as they juggle fuller calendars and commutes again. Best Buy is testing stores where it devotes more square footage to fulfilling online orders. Walmart and Kroger have both announced plans to invest in automation to keep up with the volume of online grocery orders.

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