NRF finds U.S. customers of all ages and income levels are turning to discount retailers in search of a bargain.
U.S. customers today are looking for a bargain and they’re turning to discount retailers from dollar stores to thrift shops to find it, according to the latest issue of the quarterly Consumer View report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF).
“Looking for the best price is a habit that cuts across almost every demographic,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “Regardless of income or generation, virtually everyone wants a bargain whether it’s for everyday necessities or big-ticket splurges. Even those who can afford to shop elsewhere love finding a ‘steal,’ and it’s a habit that’s here to stay.”
“Off-price and discount shopping took off during the recession as price-conscious consumers looked to save on everything from brand-name goods to everyday household purchases,” the report said. “Now, eight years into the economic recovery, consumers continue to hunt for deals and discounts.”
The survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults found that 89% said they shop at various types of discount retailers. Of those, 58% reported shopping at dollar stores, 50% at off-price stores like Ross or T.J. Maxx and discount grocers like Aldi or Lidl, 44% at outlet stores and 36% at thrift stores.
Those discount models appeal to consumers across age and income groups, with 89% of those making under $50,000 a year saying they shop at various discount retailers along with 88% of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 and 90% of those making over $100,000. Bargain shoppers include 93% of both Millennials (born from 1981 to 1994) and Generation Z (born in 1995 or later) over the age of 18.
There are regional differences among value shoppers, with 38% living in the South, 23% in the West, 21% in the Midwest and 18% in the Northeast. They are almost evenly divided among men (47%) and women (53%) and 46% have children.
Clothing is the product shoppers are most likely to purchase at bargain retailers, cited by 75% of those surveyed, followed by groceries (71%), home décor and furnishings (62%), personal care and beauty products (60%) and electronics (52%).
Value shopping is a way of life for those surveyed, with 43% going to a discount grocer weekly, 66% visiting a dollar store at least twice a month and 58% shopping at an outlet at least once a month. And 63% are buying more items on sale than they did five years ago.
The report said value consumers are “willing to give up almost anything for the satisfaction of a good bargain,” with three-quarters or more not expecting buy online/pick up in-store, free two-day shipping, product reviews or an “entertaining” shopping experience.
Consumer View is a quarterly report issued by NRF that gauges consumer behavior and shopping trends related to stores, online channels, customer loyalty, technology and other topics.