US consumers are just bored, not strapped

How many lawnmowers or laptops or couches can one household own? Plus, travel and leisure spending is booming, which goes against the idea that consumers are on the defensive. Whatever is going on, it’s clear that the shift in consumer behaviour points to larger challenges facing the retail industry, and that is finding ways to capture the attention of bored and over-shopped Americans.Before the pandemic, new merchandise made up more than 5% of the retail market, according to Marshal Cohen, the chief industry advisory with market intelligence firm Circana. Now, new products are less than 2%คำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง. Part of the reason for this stems from the switch in consumer priorities toward essentials, which had retailers stocking up on basics to meet demand rather than adding new items that entice shoppers, Cohen said. About half of consumers report they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and the other half who can afford to spend less cautiously are shelling out on luxuries like overseas travel and not so much toward more goods, as noted Andrea Felsted from Bloomberg. The end result is that store shelves are a little boring these days. 

Signs of consumer doldrums have popped up across retailer earnings. Mass merchant Target Corp.’s second-quarter revenue came in below analyst expectations at $24.7 billion amid double-digit declines in apparel, home goods and items such as toys and electronics from a year earlier. The online handmade and vintage goods marketplace Etsy Inc. had a “massive pull forward” of shoppers during the pandemic, Chief Executive Officer Josh Silverman acknowledged in December. This last quarter, Etsy saw its sales per shopper drop 6% to $128 on a trailing 12 month basis. Home Depot Inc. Executive Vice President of Merchandising Billy Bastek told investors Tuesday the company suffered a 5.5% decline in high-ticket items over $1,000 such as patio sets and large appliances, partially because consumers already made these purchases early in the pandemic.Of course, shoppers are still finding interesting goods they believe are worth sacrificing a bit of their restaurant and travel budgets. Walmart Inc. smashed second-quarter estimates on Thursday, generating $161.6 billion in revenue, led by grocery sales and double-digit growth in apparel and home goods across its online third-party marketplace. CEO Doug McMillon told investors that general merchandise purchase trends “make us feel more optimistic about those categories in the back half of the year.” Off-price retailer TJX Cos., which owns TJMaxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, saw its home and accessories businesses grow by mid to high single-digit percentages last quarter, with HomeGoods posting a 4% sales comparison, versus last year’s 13% decline. With little innovation in home improvement or consumer technology, Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Inc. and electronics retailer Best Buy Co. are biding their time until appliances such as refrigerators need replacing or the family desktop gives out. Electronics live on a three- to seven-year life cycle, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry told investors in May. Barry said retailers in the company’s category won’t get back to “a more normalised pace of meaningful innovation” until the end of the year or 2024. Although Home Depot and Lowe’s can cope with its mix of both big-ticket and small goods, Best Buy may not be so lucky. Its electronics are generally pricey and its slowdown in revenue growth in the last year along with increased promotions underscore the challenge it faces.To stay fresh, Target revamped its flagship Threshold offering with new branding and stronger price points, and it’s launching a new kitchenware line. By the end of the year, Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. plans to expand its premium footwear business — where shoppers can be individually fitted for shoes — to more than 75% of its stores. Best Buy is the exclusive retailer for Roku’s new television, which serves personalised ads, and rolled out Oura Smart Rings, which track sleep and physical activity.Then, there’s always the old-fashioned way to get consumers excited: discounts. For those retailers that can afford it, sales events this summer have drawn shoppers. The government said this week that retail sales among a control group — which feeds directly into gross domestic product — jumped 1% in July, the most since January, thanks in part to Inc.’s annual Prime Day. The company sales event helped push online sales up 1.9% in the month, according to the Commerce Department. The gains came even though Prime Day discounts were about the same or less this year compared with last year, according to Adobe Analytics.The pandemic-era spending frenzy had to slow, and the headwinds for retailers may only get stiffer. Federal student loan payments resume in the fall, and Apollo Global Management Chief Economist Torsten Slok estimates that will subtract around $9 billion from consumer spending every month. Plus, the rise in interest rates may eventually dent consumption. But the experts have been predicting that for last 18 months, and yet the American consumers has proven surprisingly resilientคำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง. Retailers just need to find a way to shake them out of their boredom.      

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