Are You More Comfortable In Public? Survey Says Consumer Confidence Up
Cabin fever, stimulus checks and more vaccines are impacting consumer behaviors.
Coresight Research, a global advisory and research firm, finds more people are comfortable getting out. Its survey from mid-March found 49.8% of consumers avoiding shopping centers, down 17 percentage points from January.
“What we attribute this to is the vaccine,” said Erin Schmidt, senior analyst for Coresight. “Consumers must be feeling more confident with more people becoming vaccinated and so this is very encouraging for retail.”
She said apparel sectors should see a boom, “Because the last year was so focused on casual and comfort apparel, this is going to help to drive consumers to shop for different types of apparel and footwear.”
That includes business attire, formal wear for weddings and special events, and even new outfits to celebrate hanging out with friends again. Schmidt said total retail sales increased 13% in January and 7.2% in February compared to the previous year and she expects another increase in March.
“When we surveyed consumers, they report that they spend their stimulus checks on bills, but actually what we’re seeing is that there is a corresponding bump in retail sales,” she said.
The survey found food-service locations were the most-avoided public places while people appear more open to traveling. For the fifth-straight week, more people reported arranging a trip in the coming weeks and months with 17.5% of respondents on March 15 planning a trip compared to 6.9% in the first week of February.
Coresight reports survey results have a margin of error of +/- 5%, with a 95% confidence interval.