How is inflation affecting consumer demand?What are 2 ways consumers are currently responding to inflation in the U.S.?
For some people, it might be possible to splurge a bit on a favorite fragrance, and for others, it might be grabbing a chocolate bar at checkout. The common theme is that it’s a temporary reprieve during a period of uncertainty. “It could be nice to take a 20-minute bath with your favorite products at the end of a long day, when you’ve been constantly worried about how you will manage all of your bills in three months,” Howard said. This could be why sales of products like home fragrances and candles are holding up reasonably well.
Executives at Bath & Body Works, a seller of fragrant soaps, body sprays and washes as well as candles, described those products as “affordable luxury” on a recent call, adding that customers were continuing to stock up: Sales of soaps and plug-in air fresheners were higher last quarter versus a year ago.
It’s called the lipstick effect, when consumers spend on small luxuries like perfume or high-end beauty purchases even in a downturn, said Priya Raghubir, professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business. She expects spending on some bigger indulgences will continue, too, in the near term.
“The difference with this inflationary cycle is that we are coming out of a pandemic. People have a lot of repressed needs. They’ve been dreaming of a vacation for over two years, celebrating life events with family and friends,” said Raghubir. “There won’t be such a downturn in travel and leisure.”
But those indulgences could also mean shoppers are giving up something else, said Neil Saunders, retail analyst and managing director at GlobalData Retail.
“Basically, this is an environment in which people are having to make choices,” he added. “If they buy one thing, they may not be able to afford another.
That forced choosiness when at the store could continue, and even deepen, he added. “We’re still in the early stages of inflation,” Saunders said. “If higher prices linger for longer, the shifts will become more pronounced — spending will be trimmed further and faster.”
1. Based on the article above, what are 2 ways consumers are currently responding to inflation in the U.S.?
2. How is inflation affecting consumer demand?
3. Diedra is a college student who is living on her own and struggling to make ends meet during the current inflationary period.
Suggest 2 things she might do to