Poll: Bar­gain hunters cross tax brack­ets

The Norwalk Hour - - BUSINESS - By Alexan­der Soule Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @ca­soul­man

Across in­come brack­ets, about nine in 10 peo­ple told the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion they fre­quent low-price re­tail­ers.

Whether it’s via a new Good­will store in Fair­field or marked-down mer­chan­dise at the sum­mer Green­wich Side­walk Sale Days, a new sur­vey makes it clear that peo­ple will chase down a dis­count as they get wind of one — what­ever the heft of their wal­let.

A Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion poll of 3,000 peo­ple na­tion­ally finds no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the per­cent­ages of rel­a­tively wealthy peo­ple who will hunt down bar­gains ver­sus those who are cash­strapped. Across in­come brack­ets, about nine in 10 peo­ple told the Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion they fre­quent low-price re­tail­ers, whether gen­eral chains like Fam­ily Dol­lar and Wal­mart, dis­count gro­cery stores like Aldi and Lidl, mem­ber ware­houses like BJ’s Whole­sale Club and Costco, or off-price cloth­iers like Mar­shalls and TJ Maxx.

Shop­pers are most price-con­scious when it comes to cloth­ing and gro­ceries, with more than 70 per­cent of NRF sur­vey re­spon­dents cit­ing the two cat­e­gories, fol­lowed by fur­nish­ings and per­sonal care prod­ucts. More than six in 10 peo­ple told NRF they buy more items on sale to­day than they did five years ago.

NRF pub­lished the sur­vey on the same day that a sep­a­rate Siena Re­search In­sti­tute poll found con­sumer con­fi­dence at the high­est level in New York since March 2017, with con­fi­dence still run­ning be­hind a tan­dem sur­vey on na­tional sen­ti­ments pub­lished by the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan.

At the same time, a con­sumer price in­dex main­tained by the U.S. De­part­ment of La­bor is up 2.3 per­cent in the past year, with some re­tail­ers stat­ing they are see­ing ev­i­dence that price aware­ness is in­creas­ingly top of mind for their cus­tomers, in­clud­ing Costco.

“When prices go up, we gen­er­ally can find where peo­ple are more con­scious,” said Richard Galanti, chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of Costco, speak­ing to in­vest­ment an­a­lysts last week. “I re­mem­ber back in the first part of (2008) when the econ­omy was on fire and gas prices were north of $4 and some were say­ing it was go­ing to go to north of $5, we saw a big in­crease in (vol­ume).”

Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia file photo

Shop­pers pe­ruse pro­duce in De­cem­ber 2014 at an Aldi dis­count su­per­mar­ket in Derby. A Na­tional Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion poll of 3,000 peo­ple na­tion­ally pub­lished in Oc­to­ber found no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the per­cent­ages of rel­a­tively wealthy peo­ple who will hunt down bar­gains ver­sus those who are cash-strapped.

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