A new study for the National Retail Federation by BIGresearch found that fluctuating gas prices have affected the retail spending of 66.2% of consumers, or 145.3 million Americans, up from 56.8% percent in 2004. Despite a recent drop in gas prices, the report says, consumers continue to alter their spending to compensate for high numbers at the pump.
While shoppers seem to be getting over the initial sticker shock, gas prices have taken a long-term toll on consumers, many of whom have had to adjust their spending to compensate for the increases. Every penny spent on gasoline is a penny kept from retailers, so this is also a very real problem for our industry.—Tracy Mullin, NRF President and CEO
According to the NRF 2005 Gas Prices Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey:
31.2% of consumers have decreased vacation or travel plans
25.2% have been dining out less frequently
23.7% spending less on clothing
17.3% spending less on groceries
16.4% (35.9 million consumers) have delayed purchases of cars and furniture as a result of higher gas prices, but only 5.7% increased carpooling