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Consumers Seek Casual Clothing, Jewelry and Hair Appointments as World Reopens

As consumers start getting back into the swing of things, they are looking to spend money on casual clothing, high-end jewelry and watches, and salon services such as haircuts and color.

That’s according to a national poll conducted by Amex Trendex: Pent Up Purchases between June 2 and June 14, of 2,000 adults with a household income of $50,000 or more. The survey explored what adults are eager to spend on or have “pent-up demand” for following the pandemic. These are the purchases adults are looking to make in the next six months.

The survey found that 78 percent of those surveyed are looking to buy casual clothes such as jeans and T-shirts to refresh their wardrobes this summer, and 27 percent said they are eager to invest in items that they would previously not have spent money on, such as high-end jewelry and watches. That number jumps to 50 percent for Millennials.

Forty-one percent said they are looking forward to spending money on outfits for events that were delayed due to the pandemic. Further, 37 percent said they want to dress up for any occasion possible this summer, and 37 percent agree they are eager to go out and show off their purchase after being less social for so long.

The survey found that 42 percent of adults agree that purchasing new clothes is one of the most important factors in returning to work and their regular routines. Some 32 percent agree when they return to work in the office regularly, their work style/clothing choices will be different than before the pandemic. Some 57 percent of adults agree they will focus on a combination of comfort and work-appropriate clothing.

In the area of entertainment, 25 percent said they are planning to buy a ticket to a concert or sporting event at a large venue in the next six months.

Women, who may have put off self care appointments, appear to be heading back to hair and nail salons, with 65 percent planning to get a haircut in the next six months and 33 percent saying they plan to get their hair colored over the same time period. Thirty percent of women said they plan to get a manicure in the next six months while 35 percent said they intend to get a pedicure.

Some 72 percent of adults said they plan to go to an indoor restaurant in the next six months, while 48 percent said they plan to go to local retail stores more frequently than they did prior to the pandemic.

The study also found a desire among adults to upgrade their home fitness areas. For example, 37 percent agree they are investing in fitness equipment to use at home because they may not be ready to return to public gyms and fitness classes.

“Consumers have pent-up purchase demand and it’s clear they are ready to unleash it,” said Colleen Taylor, president of merchant services at American Express. “They also changed their spending habits during the pandemic and are open to new ways of shopping and spending. For example, the survey found 48 percent of adults surveyed say they plan to go to local retail stores more frequently than they did prior to the pandemic.”

Asked what categories she expects will pick up steam in the fall, Taylor said, “As more consumers get vaccinated, start to return to work and return to pre-pandemic life, our survey shows there is a strong desire to spend on items they need or may have held off on across fashion, beauty and dining/entertainment.”

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Media People: Elizabeth Rutledge, CMO of American Express

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