INSIGHTS ON CHANGING CONSUMER BEHAVIOR
The daily US consumer spend index shows the percentage change in spending on a daily basis, compared to consumer spending in 2019.
FIRST REPORT: APRIL 29, 2020
Our sixth installment of the FIRST report is very similar to last week’s report, as firms that can accommodate life in a social-distanced world are doing well or are returning back to pre-crisis growth rates, while firms that are incompatible with consumers staying home continue to struggle. With news that some restrictions are starting to be lifted, we will be paying a bit closer attention to sectors hit the hardest in the next couple of weeks to see if there are any signs of improvement.
All segments of the Discount category were strong the week ending April 26, with Discount Stores up 52% year over year, Wholesale Clubs up 28%, and Variety Stores rebounding sharply, up 27% year-over-year. Another week of stimulus checks showing up seems to be providing some strength in this sector.
The Consumer Home Supply sector continued to be strong in the week of April 26, growing 49% year over year, though down a bit from the prior week. This sector, much like the Discount sector, seems to be getting a boost from government stimulus payments.
Consumer spending at Amazon continued to out-pace its retailing rival Walmart, with year-over-year growth hitting 80% and 18%, respectively. The gap between the two narrowed a bit however, as Amazon’s growth fell from its torrid pace the prior week. Amazon seems to be adjusting well to the “new normal” as it appears to be able to support unprecedented demand.
The Restaurant segment was essentially flat from the prior week, with Fast Food restaurants continuing to outperform the overall segment. So far, it does not appear that stimulus dollars are having an outsized impact on the restaurant space.
The Video Games segment finally appears to be cooling off a bit, with spending growing 70% year over year during the week ending April 26, down from a staggering 111% the week prior. The strength in this segment is impressive.
Not much to be said about the broader travel space, as both Air Travel and Lodging continue to see declines between 80-95% year-over-year. With signs that some cities/states are starting to ease restrictions a bit, we will be watching this sector for tangible signs of improvement, though that may not emerge for some time.
Consumer spending at Drug Stores and Pharmacies appears to be converging back to pre-crisis trends, with year over year spending flat during the week of April 26. Given that spending on typical items found at these retailers are often “necessary” and aren’t as frequently found in ecommerce channels, this reversion to normal makes sense.
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FIRST REPORT ARCHIVE