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Pitney Bowes BOXpoll™: Both Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Americans Plan for a Summer of Increased Spending

Press release from the issuing company

Nine Percent Spending Increase Across Key Product Categories from Summer 2020 Led by Gen Z and Millennials

Stamford, Conn. – Pitney Bowes Inc., a global technology company that provides commerce solutions in the areas of ecommerce, shipping, mailing and financial services, today released results from its latest BOXpoll™, revealing that as household incomes steady, the retail industry is set for an optimistic few months, with US consumers – both those vaccinated and not – set to increase spending this summer across key product categories.

For the first time in seven months, the percentage of Americans earning less money than before the pandemic fell below 30% (11% make more money; 60% make the same). With more disposable income, increased consumer confidence, and fewer COVID restrictions, the latest BOXpoll™ reveals consumers plan to increase product spending 9% this summer versus summer 2020. Notably, consumers plan to spend 12% more on sporting goods and 9% more on apparel and footwear, and home and garden products.

“As we come upon Memorial Day, Americans are eagerly anticipating a more normal summer. Spending on vacations, dining out and other services are widely expected to increase following deep declines in 2020. But, Pitney Bowes BOXpoll respondents also tell us they also plan to spend more on products this summer versus last. This is encouraging and hopeful news for retailers, both because product sales typically experience a decline from spring to summer, and because y-o-y product sales were surprisingly strong last summer too,” said Gregg Zegras, EVP and President, Global Ecommerce, Pitney Bowes.

According to US Department of Commerce statistics, US retail sales, excluding autos, gas, food and beverage services and grocery stores, saw its highest year-over-year increase in Q3 2020 of any quarter over the past decade. Twenty-twenty was also the only year in the decade when the same categories of retail product sales increased from Q2 to Q3. The increase was over 9%. BOXpoll suggests these trends could be repeated in 2021.

Gen Z leads the charge
Leading this trend are the younger generations, whose plans for summer spending are significantly greater when compared with Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, with Gen Z and Millennials spending approximately 15% more on average across all categories. In particular, Gen Z and Millennials are leading other generations considerably when it comes to sporting goods, with Gen Z spending a third more (33%) on sporting goods than they did last summer and Millennials planning for a 19% increase in the category. Older consumers trend toward spending more cautiously, with Gen X planning to spend 8% more than last summer and Boomers, 4% more, across all categories.

BOXpoll™ revealed spending trends for this summer across other demographics as well, including the following:

Urban dwellers will spend significantly more (17%) than consumers in suburban and rural areas (5% and 8%, respectively)
Parents plan to spend about three times more than those without children year over year (15% vs. 5%)
Mid-income earners plan a higher increase in spending (12%) compared with lower- and higher-income earners (5% and 11% respectively)
Shoppers in the Northeast (13%) and West (10%) planned higher spending increases this summer than those in the Midwest (6%) and South (8%).

Vaccinated, or not, Americans are spending
What’s more, BOXpoll™ found little difference in the spending plans of consumers who have been, or plan to be vaccinated (9% increase in spending), compared to those who do not plan to get the vaccine (8% increase).

Methodology
BOXpoll™ by Pitney Bowes is a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture and ecommerce logistics. Morning Consult conducts weekly polls on behalf of Pitney Bowes among a national sample of more than 2,000 online shoppers. The results included in this press release are extracted from surveys conducted over the past month. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Visit pitneybowes.com/boxpoll for the latest BOXpoll findings.

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