As costs for necessities like food and fuel have risen, the demand for discretionary items has deflated. A September survey of consumers in six countries by First Insight found that 48 percent of shoppers are planning to cut back on apparel and footwear purchases due to higher prices, and fashion sits low in their spending priorities.
Consumer behavior is changing rapidly right now, Vera Bradley president Daren Hull told Sourcing Journal. And inflation is just one of the major forces in the market—along with war and the ongoing pandemic, to name a few—that is shaping spending. Earlier in the year, he noted that it was the consumer earning less than $55,000 who was most heavily impacted by rising food and energy costs. But by the second quarter, rising prices began to affect higher earners as well, and in turn changed consumer behavior more broadly.