While the economy appears to be better consumers will likely be budget conscious with fall fashion shopping. The projections come on the heels of data show credit card debt is rising a mere 1.5% annually and spending on major credit cards has begun to soften, this summer.
A new survey reveals three out four Americans are planning to purchase clothing, shoes or accessories this fall, with just over half of those shoppers saying they plan to stock up on “everyday” apparel items.
However, a number of Americans are focused on budgeting. One-fourth of shoppers are planning to spend less this year than in previous years because they are prioritizing savings and say it’s because they make less than they did last year. Over half of shoppers plan to spend $300 or less and 58% of Americans are planning to shop when they can take advantage of special promotions and sales.
The findings come from a survey by Affirm, a short-term installment loan specialist, which also shows half of consumers still prefer to visit brick-and-mortar stores compared to 20% who plan to shop online. There’s also an emphasis on shopping locally in-store, with 79% of respondents saying it’s important to them to try to support neighborhood brick-and-mortar stores.
While “big box” and department stores are the primary locations Americans will shop at this fall, many believe it’s important to support transparent and sustainable brands – and they’re willing to pay more to do it. Sixty-two percent of Americans say it’s important the product they purchase is sustainable and 77% will pay more for sustainable items. Seventy-four percent say it’s important the product is ethically made and the same number will pay more for these products.
CONSUMERS SHUNNING CREDIT CARDS
The Affirm survey also discovered 70% of shoppers are avoiding credit cards at checkout. Forty-one percent of Americans have previously used an installment loan to pay for a purchase and 38% of shoppers say they would consider purchasing a full price item if they could spread the cost out over time with no interest – many preferring this option over paying for a discounted item in full at checkout (18%).
Starting in September, Affirm will feature fashion and apparel brands that partner with Affirm across Instagram and Affirm.com, showing consumers where they can buy now and pay for purchases over time with Affirm. Many fashion brands now give customers the option to use Affirm to buy items with no interest, repaid in three monthly installments.