In a June survey of Affluent investors, national companies were preferred over local businesses in several scenarios.
Getting the best deal trumps support of local businesses, according to consumer spending trends tracked by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
In a June survey of Affluent investors, national companies were preferred over local businesses in several scenarios. More than twice as many respondents (64 percent vs. 28 percent) said they would sooner frequent a national fast food restaurant rather than a local establishment.
Likewise, more than half (55 percent) said they prefer shopping at a national hardware store chain vs. 42 percent who said they prefer to shop at their local hardware store, while 59 percent said they prefer to buy their electronics from a national chain compared with 9 percent who prefer a local company. Similarly, 55 percent prefer a national chain bookstore, but it's another story for the 40 percent who expressed a preference for their local bookstore.
The gap is most pronounced between patrons of nationally branded department stories and local department stores, 79 percent vs. 16 percent.
Grocery stores are an exception in the national vs. local debate. Fifty-seven percent of Affluent investors surveyed said they prefer their local grocer, compared with 41 percent said they prefer a national company. Another is sit-down restaurants. Here, local eateries have the most sinificant approval rating, 78 percent vs. 20 percent.
Advocates for shopping local cite several benefits to the economy and community benefits, ranging from protecting local character and job creation to supporting entrepreneurship and keeping dollars in the local economy.
But in an era of new frugality, in which coupons have become big business, consumers are spending more time using 21sst century technology to research where they can find the best deals on products. In its most recent Father’s Day shopping forecast, the National Retail Federation found that 51 percent of tablet users and 43 percent of smartphone owners said they would use their mobile device to research Father’s Day gift ideas, compare prices, redeem coupons and look up store information.
Millennial shoppers , who came of age during the economic collapse and subsequent recession, are probably the poster children for the new frugality, according to consumer shopping trends tracked in a 2012 Symphony IRI survey. Nearly half (45 percent) said they would buy brands on sale rather than a preferred brand.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.