In a weekly report of U.S. consumption trends, NPD found that while consumers are continuing to shop a change in focus onto necessities has caused dollar growth to be flat in the week ending on March 14. The company cites fear as the determinate factor changing consumer behavior from discretionary to necessity, noting that the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic will see short- and long-term changes in behavior.
Further, data showed the average selling price for general merchandise products had declined 5.8 percent in the second week of March influenced by consumer’s focus shift on necessities. The report also noted average selling prices being impacted by changes in the promotional landscape.
The company predicts growth in categories that will assist consumers as they work from home, including the consumer tech space and small appliances. Products that help people pass the time were also included in this category for growth as consumers prepare to be at home for an extended period of time.
NPD additionally reported that the third week of March marked a turning point for athletic footwear sales in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. While various reports show that more people are running outside, prompted by the close of gyms, NPD data found running shoe sales were down by almost 70 percent year-over-year. Sales of athletic shoes tied to youth spring sports saw the steepest decline, experiencing sale declines of more than 90 percent year-over-year.
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