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Australian consumers to go on 'revenge spending' sprees once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted

40% of Australians are looking forward to spending on dining out and entertainment

Consumers in Australia are likely to go on “revenge spending” sprees once Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions are lifted.

This is most likely due to Australian households squirreling away more than $140 billion during the pandemic, with 26% of Australians saying their families are better off financially than this time last year, according to a survey by Shopper.

As confidence rises in line with vaccination rates there is a significant number of consumers at the ready to unleash an economy-boosting wave of spending when life returns to normal.

“Economists and retailers locally are anticipating the ‘revenge spending’ trend playing out in Australia off the back of extended lockdowns and an aggressive vaccination rollout program. Shopper undertook this study to better understand the effect of lockdowns on consumer behavior and to determine if a frenzy of spending is likely to occur once restrictions ease later this year,” said Karissa Fletcher, the head of marketing at Shopper.

“The findings identified a clear intent in shoppers to splurge once restrictions lift. Consumers are ready to rebound, with a driving desire to restore control and normalcy and make up for the lost time. This provides a unique moment for brands to lean in and respond with products and services that will meet this intention.”

What are the findings of the survey?

  • 47% of shoppers are planning on making a significant purchase once restrictions ease, with 59% of shoppers preferring to buy big-ticket items in-store compared with 19% who would rather buy online.

  • Nearly a third of shoppers indicated they would spend between $500-$2000 on their big-ticket purchase.

  • 40% of Australians are looking forward to spending on dining out and entertainment.

  • 19% will book a holiday and two in three consumers feel satisfied after making a big purchase.

  • Consumers are choosing to spend 25% more time in their local shopping centres and 75% are visiting more regularly.

  • Large destination shopping centres have experienced steep declines in customers in-store due to the pandemic. However, local shopping centres have increased in popularity as people are staying closer to home and relying on local retailers for essential needs and services.

  • This means 36% of Australians now spending 80% or more of their discretionary income within 5km of their home.

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