Financial Well-Being & Consumption Trade-Offs
Back in May, U.S. retail sales revenue — including both discretionary (or non-essential) general merchandise and CPGs — increased 2% compared to the same month last year as unit sales declined 3%, according to research from Circana (formerly IRI and The NPD Group).
Other takeaways include:
• The growth came primarily from food and beverage CPG spending (a 5% increase in sales revenue and a 2% unit-sales decline).
• Non-edible CPG sales revenue grew 2%, while unit sales fell 4%.
• Spending on discretionary general merchandise continued to decrease through May, with a decline of 5% in sales revenue and 8% in units.
• Sales of apparel, technology and other “traditionally high-volume” categories declined from a year ago.
• Prestige beauty was the only category to exceed the sales growth noted in the food and beverage industry, with sales revenue up by 16%.
• Mass-market beauty sales grew by 9%.
• E-commerce gained the largest share of sales revenue so far this year, rising more than 2 share points.
• Department stores maintained a steady share of the market.
Also notable: the average number of items purchased in a shopping trip this year is smaller than it was last year. Consumers have also begun their migration to more “value-focused” retail options, a change Circana says is likely a precursor of what’s on the horizon for the rest of the retail industry.
Additionally, according to Deloitte’s financial well-being index and State of the Consumer Tracker for June 2023:
• Fewer consumers are citing concerns around their level of savings, worsening financial situations and delaying large purchases as inflation eases.
• Spending intentions have mostly remained flat across 2023 as consumers prioritize summer travel and building savings back up.
• Spending on durable goods grew 1.4% in April from March after shrinking in the previous two months.