Andrew Lipsman, Principal Analyst, eMarketer
Consumers are actually spending more on essential goods: Grocery stores saw a 26.9% increase in spending and health stores saw a 4.3% increase. This is partly because these are the only brick-and-mortar stores that are allowed to remain open right now, but it is also because consumers are worried about spending money unnecessarily with a significant recession looming on the horizon. Across the board, sectors that rely on discretionary spending have seen declines. “There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about the future,” says Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst at the research firm eMarketer. “People are shifting their spending to focus on the things they really need and cutting their budgets on less essential goods.”
But the coronavirus lockdown has changed our lifestyles in ways that make buying new clothes particularly irrelevant. Since people are finding ways to fill their time at home, hobby shops and bookstores have not been as badly hit, with a 23.3% decline, and home furnishings and furniture stores have seen only a 26.8% decline, perhaps because some people are spending money on making their homes more livable.
Quoted in Fast Company