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Survey: Despite Inflation, Consumers Poised To Spend For Labor Day.


The end of the summer may not be such a sad occasion for retailers. According to the 2022 Labor Day Weekend Consumer Survey Report from market research data and technology company Numerator, expected impacts from inflation and the pandemic on consumer Labor Day spending are on the decline.


Half (51%) of surveyed consumers expect inflation to impact Labor Day plans, down from 62% that expected inflation to affect Memorial Day weekend plans.


Fewer than one in five (18%) expect a COVID-19 impact on their Labor Day plans, following a steady decline in concern throughout 2022. Almost nine in 10 (88%) expect to make purchases in-person, with grocery stores (68%), mass retailers (45%) and warehouse club retailers (33%) representing the top shopping destinations.


Fewer than one in five (17%) expect to shop online for Labor Day purchases. Almost all (94%) expect to make purchases for their Labor Day celebrations, most of which are food-oriented. These include meat / seafood (58% of respondents), snacks (54%), fruits / vegetables (48%), side dishes (44%) and alcoholic beverages (43%) top the list of planned food-related purchases.


Among non-food planned purchases, 26% plan to buy grilling materials, 8% plan to buy holiday decorations, and 6% plan to buy sporting goods or outdoor games. Looking at how consumers will celebrate, the survey finds 61% plan to grill or barbecue, while 53% plan to gather with family and friends. Gen Z respondents are most likely to go out for food / drinks (37%), travel (26%) or attend / host a party (26%) vs. other generations, while boomers and older generations are the most likely to gather with family and friends (58%), with Gen X the most likely to grill out (63%).


Nearly one-third (32%) say rising gas prices will force them to travel less, and another 22% will not travel at all for Labor Day 2022 as a result. Among other survey findings:


  • More than a third (34%) plan to shop deals over the long weekend, and another 52% say they might participate.

  • While a slight majority (51%) plan to shop Labor Day deals and expect to buy grocery items, 25% say they will buy apparel/shoes and 24% will buy household essentials.

  • Specific ways respondents planning to shop Labor Day sale events intend to reduce spending include comparing prices (45%), stocking up on sale items (31%), not purchasing non-necessities (29%), and waiting to purchase a specific product at a lower price (18%).


Numerator’s 2022 Labor Day survey was fielded Aug. 4-6, 2022, to 1,054 respondents.


A recent survey indicates back-to-school consumers are also turning to physical stores. According to the new Sensormatic Solutions 2022 Back-to-School Shopper Sentiment Survey, 76% said they plan to do their shopping in stores this year.

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