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Covid-19 poll daily insights

May 8, 2020

  • The vast majority are spending the same as usual or more on graduation gifts.
  • Even in US states that have not started to reopen, many people think brick-and-mortar stores will open after May.
  • More people under 45 say they’ll continue to shop predominantly online in the first month after restrictions end.


With no in-person graduations, some students can expect the same or bigger gifts as usual.

Sixty percent of people gifting for graduations say they’ll spend the same as usual on gifts. After that, though, 26 percent of people plan to spend more than usual on graduation presents. Only 14 percent of people say they’re spending less than usual on these gifts.

Planned spend on graduation gifts compared to usual 5-8

People think stores may reopen in just a few weeks.

Although several US states started to reopen last week, many are still under stay-at-home orders. Forty percent of Americans believe brick-and-mortar stores will open after the end of May, just three weeks away. Twenty-one percent think stores will open after the end of June and 16 percent still have no idea when stores will reopen.

expectations for brick-and-mortar stores reopening in stay-at-home order states 5-8

People under 45 plan to continue shopping online at a higher rate.

Thirty-eight percent of people under 45 say they’ll do most to all of their shopping online even after restrictions are lifted, compared to just 28 percent of those 45 and over. Thirty percent of those 45 and over say they plan to do most to all of their shopping in-person after restrictions are lifted compared to just 22 percent of those under 45.

plans to shop in-store vs online by age 5-8

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Consumer sentiment

What are people buying and why?

For many high school seniors, they can expect gift cards, dorm accessories, or swag from their future colleges. These were the most commonly listed items that people say they plan to buy as high school graduation gifts. Other gift-givers have not decided yet or need to change their plans. As one person said, “[My gift] was going to be travel — now up in the air.”

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