Spending Trends Summer 2023

June 18, 2023 | Written by: SAGA

What will you splurge on this summer?

Heading into the vacation season, consumers in the US are feeling a little more optimistic about the country’s future, according to a McKinsey report released last week by Kari Alldredge and others. Growth in spending has slowed but most of us still intend to indulge ourselves in specific categories.

Durable goods like jewelry, home goods and electronics are purchases consumers say they are willing to wait on – for now.  On the “splurge” list: restaurants, travel and apparel. Here’s a chart…

Gen Z’ers and Millennials are more likely to splurge than older generations. Baby Boomers have the most conservative spending plans. Not surprisingly, younger consumers and those with high incomes are more optimistic than middle or lower-income folks.

Overall, nearly 40% say they intend to treat themselves in the second half of 2023, which is about the same percentage as in 2021 and 2022.

Retailers are trying different ways to enhance the shopping experience – like a mimosa while you shop! (Consultants call this Sip and Shop…offered by Sam’s Club, Whole Foods and others – even our local Lowes Foods store has a robust beer tasting counter!)

Others are doing lots of cross-promotion, like shoppable posts in your Instagram feed and a marketing email directing you to an online store…all from the same retailer while you are shopping at their store.

Some stores are adding more automation. I like personal service, but surveys show 70% of consumers prefer some “no contact” assistance – like a kiosk that shows you what’s in stock without having to ask a salesclerk.

Consumers, by a wide margin – 86%, say they like emails telling them about upcoming deals. Retailers know this and are responding with lots of opportunities for you to buy from your mobile device.

Have a great summer…and if you splurge on something, do it locally!




Bob Joyce

Senior Director