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 8, 2020
In week 3 of our FIRST reports, we have seen a mixture of moderating declines and in some cases a return to pre-crisis growth rates. In addition, one category, Video Games, is soaring as people look for entertainment options in a stay-at-home economy. While there are some inflection points or signs of the declines bottoming, there is no getting around how terrible the spending numbers are in the travel and restaurant space.
Spending at Wholesale and Discount stores bounced off the bottom during the week of April 5, with all three categories being captured back into positive growth territory. Discount stores seem to be outperforming their peer group, growing nearly 20% year-over-year during the week.
Spending at Consumer Home Supply Stores seems to be settling in at pre-crisis levels, growing 4% year-over-year the week of April 5.
We are adding tracking of the two retail giants in the US, Walmart and Amazon. Both companies saw upticks during the week of April 5. While Walmart appears to be back at pre-crisis levels, Amazon continues to see a meaningful pickup in their business, with consumers increasing their spending 35% from the prior year.
Very little movement in the restaurant sector, with Fast Food restaurants and the overall category mostly unchanged from the prior week. Fast food continues to outperform given their drive-through and take-out infrastructure.
Spending on Video Games accelerated further during the week of April 5, growing nearly 100% from the prior-year period, making it one of the best performing categories in this environment.
We are also adding spending on Music Streaming services to our report this week, looking at two merchants, Spotify and SoundCloud. Spotify seems to have been reasonably steady through this crisis, showing growth between 10% and 20% for most of the time frame. What is more interesting is SoundCloud, who has seen a real spike in the last 4 weeks, likely a result of an increase in artists who are actually publishing content to the site.
Air travel is one of the worst performing categories we follow, with year-over-year growth declines reaching close to 90% during the week of April 5. While the pace of decline appears to be slowing a bit, at these levels, there is little solace to be found in that development.
The declines in spending on Lodging by US consumers appears to have bottomed in the week ending April 5, down year-over-year roughly 80%, but up just slightly from the prior week. Like their peers in the air travel industry, there is little to cheer about given these levels.
Consumer spending at Drug Stores and Pharmacies appears to have returned to pre-crisis levels, with sales down only 2% year-over-year for the week ending April 5.
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FIRST REPORT ARCHIVE