The Wall Street Journal this morning reports on how, even as inflation seems to be slowing, the affluent folks who shifted to discount stores seem to be staying there to some degree.
According to the story, "InMarket, which tracks retailer foot traffic, measured a 4% average increase in the share of dollar-store visits this year among those making more than $100,000, compared with the second half of 2022.
"Households with six-figure incomes are 15% more likely to say they would shop at dollar stores than they were last June, going from 39% to 45%, according to daily surveys from Morning Consult of about 50,000 Americans.
"Wealthy Americans long viewed discount stores as 'not for them,' says Michael Liersch, who consults with high-net-worth individuals as head of advice and planning at Wells Fargo. Yet paying $8 for a carton of eggs struck even many affluent people as ridiculous.
"Overspending on things was once fashionable for some, Liersch says. 'These days, it’s about making the most of your money and not getting ripped off.'
No matter how much you make, consumers say, there is no longer a stigma in going after a good deal."
- KC's View:
I'm not sure how sustainable this trend will be. Even if inflation is easing, it is still and concern, and a lot of people are acting with a recessionary mindset even if we're not in a recession.
Seems to me that one of the reasons for this shift is that a lot of food retailers have not effectively communicated the concept of value, as opposed to price. They've let these discount stores set the terms of the debate without standing up for the ways in which they help people save money and make their lives more meaningful.