Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's Gas Prices, Stupid! (And, Five Major Hurricanes To Boot)

As you plan your summer promotions schedule, a few factoids to ponder:

2. The recent increase in fashion-oriented shoppers hit a bump in the road in May as 22% fewer consumers than in March said that “newest trends and styles best identified their fashion feelings,” according to BIGresearch’s May Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey (CIA) of 8,353 consumers.

The percentage of fashion-oriented consumers grew 92% from 9% in May 2005 to 17.3% in March 2007. As gas prices began to escalate in March, the number declined to 16.9% in April. With the additional gas hikes in May, the percentage tumbled to 13.5%, a decrease of 20% from April. (view the complete chart)

“Fashion-conscious consumers who prefer the newest trends and fashions tend to be younger, single females who favor name brands and are willing to pay more to look fashionable,” said Gary Drenik, President & CEO of BIGresearch. “The fashion forward consumer is a lucrative high margin customer and their wallets seem to be pinched by higher gas prices. As a result, retail sales of fashion clothing would be impacted as shoppers switch to less expensive brands, look for sales, shop online and / or closer to home,” said Drenik.

How Have Fluctuating Gas Prices Impacted Your Spending?

Fashion-Forward/NewestTrend Shoppers All
Spending Less on Clothing 28.6% 24.1%
Reduced Dining Out 35.7% 31.1%
Driving Less 40.2% 40.0%

Additional information on CIA and other BIGresearch samples may be accessed by going to: http://www.bigresearch.com and clicking on Complimentary Top Line Findings.

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