The number of Americans shopping has gone down in recent weeks; surprisingly, this hasn’t adversely impacted the country’s economy as a whole. Indeed, while many leading retailers reported a general decrease in item purchases, people are still spending their money – but this time on experiences as opposed to new clothing or home appliances.

As Leticia Miranda, an economic columnist for Bloomberg, wrote recently, consumers aren’t strapped for cash: they’re bored with what retailers are currently offering and simply want to spend their money on the novelty of new experiences or to revisit activities that were called off because of the pandemic.

What are People Spending on These Days?

If consumers were spending their money on basic necessities and “joy” items like collectibles throughout the pandemic, their post-COVID spending now mostly goes to experiences like travel, catching concerts, exhibitions, and even the simple thrill of seeing a movie at a local cinema as opposed to watching it at home via streaming platform.

Travel, both domestic and international, is one of the boom areas of the post-pandemic economy, as people are again using ride-hailing apps to go places, reserving hotel rooms and spa suites for staycations, or even buying plane tickets to travel within the country and overseas.

More Conscientious Shopping

Shopping for experiences instead of items is all well and good, but there’s another, more serious reason for the apparent curtailment of spending among American consumers.

This would be the fact that, despite the Federal Reserve’s seemingly unending run of interest rate hikes, inflation remains high. As a result, American consumers have become more conscious about the things that they spend on. For most, it has become a matter of quality and durability over mere quantity; for others, it is simply a matter of getting more value for their money. 

The latter can be seen in the way retail giants like Amazon, TJ Maxx, and Walmart have increased the number of discounted products for sale in a bid to draw customers back in.