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Prices at the Pump are Changing Shopping Habits

August 6, 2008

It’s official: more people are cutting down on their spending and changing how they shop as the cost of living keeps on rising. For the first time this year, WSL Strategic Retail tested a number of attitude statements to see how consumers are changing the way they think and shop in response to the surging prices of gas, fuel and food.

According to the New York-based retail strategy firm, the number of people who are spending less when they shop because of rising gas prices has increased from 42% to 65% in just six months. The soaring prices at the pump are affecting more affluent shoppers too. According to WSL, 53% of those with income of more than $100,000 are spending less, up from just 27% last year.

WSL said almost half of the consumers questioned said they “feel like they are just trying to make it from paycheck to paycheck.” And while the percentage of people who feel that way is much higher among less affluent consumers, a surprising 25% of those with household incomes of more than $100,000 feel as if they are struggling to get to that next payday.

Forty-eight percent have “traded down from their usual brands to lower priced brands to save money,” and 40% are “doing more shopping in less expensive stores,” including more than one-third of the most affluent, according to WSL.

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