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Covid-19 poll daily insights

Friday
April 24, 2020

  • Aside from key expenses, people’s plans to spend their stimulus checks vary widely.
  • The number of people shopping at stores they haven’t bought from before continues to grow.
  • Product availability is still the most important factor influencing where people choose to shop.

 

Aside from a few key expenses, people’s plans for their stimulus checks vary. More than 30 percent of stimulus check recipients say they plan to spend at least some of the money on bills, food, debt, and housing. Twelve percent of people say they plan to donate at least some of it. Twelve percent of check recipients or fewer say they plan to spend on other types of products, including medicine, pet care, home goods, and apparel. Nine percent say they’re not sure what they’ll spend the money on yet.

how people plan to spend their stimulus checks overall 4-24

More people are shopping at different stores and online retailers for the first time. Over the past two weeks, a growing number of people have said they’re shopping at stores they hadn’t previously bought: On April 13th, 36 percent of respondents said they were doing at least some shopping at new places, but as of the 24th, that number has grown to 62 percent.

Many mentioned availability, delivery, supporting local businesses, and advertising as important factors when choosing where to shop. One person explained that they’re branching out due to “advertising pointing out new options,” and because they “can’t get some things from previous sources.”

buying from new stores over time 4-24

Product availability is still a top priority. For the last three weeks, availability has continued to top shoppers’ list of priorities. Overall, 64 percent of people say that products being available or in stock is a key factor when determining where to shop. One person said they’re keeping an eye out for where products are available “because I don’t want to leave my house… If my current online store is out of stock, I have to find alternatives.”

people's main shopping priorities 4-24

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

Many people said they’re using stimulus money to pay down their debt, from student loans to credit cards payments. Some are devoting their entire check to it, while others are just spending part of the money. As one person said, “It’s an investment in my future.”

Shoppers are also continuing to spend time on home improvement, from DIY projects to outdoor updates. Recent respondents have mentioned taking on projects from painting walls and fixing carpets to starting gardens.

While these times are stressful for many, some are finding comfort in small indulgences. Some people mentioned making purchases to treat themselves, like skin care products, new clothes, and take-out food from favorite restaurants. As one person said, “Self care helps morale.”

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