Young, Affluent Consumers Signal Readiness to Begin Spending

Earlier this week, I highlighted several studies that pointed to a subdued holiday 2009 season. But other recently published studies pinpoint a few demographic groups who are still willing to spend and plan to increase expenses over the next couple of months. Not surprisingly, these consumers are generally younger or affluent.1200892_wedding_limo

One survey, The American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, finds that nearly 2/3’s of respondents expect to either maintain or increase  expenditures. Here are the categories where young professionals plan to increase spending during the next month:

  • Apparel 43%
  • Dining out 47%
  • Travel 56%

Even the general population expects to increase expenditures as this year concludes. Below is a list of categories and corresponding percentages of the general population with plans to increase spending:

  • Groceries 49%
  • Apparel 49%
  • Car maintenance 42%
  • Salon hairstyling (more than just a basic cut) 46%

Similarly, the 2009 Ipsos Mendelsohn survey results show a 4% increase in optimism among the 23.9 million households with  incomes in excess of $100,000. Comprising 12% of the population, the optimism in these affluent households should translate to steady sales of everything from wedding gowns to children’s furniture sets. These consumers noted little change in their intent to get married or have children – major life events that generate spending.

Marketers may be seeking to reach these consumers via newspapers, magazines and online. The Ipsos Mendelsohn survey notes that the highest income groups increased their consumption of all these media forms during the past year.

[Sources: Neff, Jack. Survey Finds the Rich Returning to Familiar Spending Habits, Advertising Age, 9.15.09; American Express Spending and Saving Tracker Update, Retailer Daily, 9.15.09]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.