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KPMG consumer pulse survey | March 2023

Focused on mall visits and spend, online and in-store grocery spend, and environmental and social responsibility

In February 2023, KPMG polled more than 1,000 consumers across the United States to learn about their expected spending habits for the year as well as shifts in buying behaviors across categories and channels.We also set out to learn more about consumer behavior around the importance of environmental sustainability and social responsibility as criteria in their product choices.

Responses show that U.S. consumers continue to grapple with rising food and housing costs, which are impacting much of their discretionary spending habits, with travel and vacations being the sole notable exception. Nearly four out of five consumers report that their household income increased or stayed the same in 2022 versus 2021.Shopping trips to the mall are likely to decline modestly in 2023,3 and online grocery shopping is likely to decline for more than a third of consumers.4

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KPMG consumer pulse survey

Inflation continues to take a toll.

Consumers say they will delay purchases in big-ticket discretionary categories such as furniture (8.8 percent), home improvement services (5.5 percent), and electronics and appliances (3.4 percent) and expect to spend more on essentials, events, and services.5 When consumers shop for essentials, they are picking up more low-price and private-label brands.

Consumers shift from wants to needs Consumer expectation on spend

Mall trips are likely to decline modestly.

This year’s survey responses indicate that consumers may make fewer trips to the mall.This reflects the intention to reduce discretionary spending. However, spending per trip to the mall is up across all age cohorts, except for Millennials.10 Under 18 Gen-Z consumers are discovering the mall and driving a mall renaissance with their interest in exploration, eating, and social shopping.11

Average number of trips to the mall

In-store grocery shopping is back.

Consumers intending to shop in-store for more than three-quarters of their monthly grocery purchases—split almost evenly between supermarkets and mass-market chains.6 More than a third of consumers say they will use online grocery shopping less in 2023.7 Value pricing is top of mind, as one in three consumers say they visit multiple grocery stores for price, selection, and quality.8

Expected grocery spend 2023 compared to 2022

Environmental sustainability and social responsibility are rising forces.

More than 35 percent of consumers report that environmental sustainability is important to purchase decisions12 and one in three consumers say a company’s social responsibility is important.13 Gen Zs over index on the importance of sustainability and social responsibility to purchase decisions,14 which has significant implications for the products retailers will offer and their social positions in the future. These younger shoppers are also more likely to use alternative payment methods and platforms.15

Environmental sustainability is important to purchase decisions

Dive into our thinking:

Consumers share their changed behavior

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Consumer pulse survey 2023 infographic

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Consumer pulse March 2023 report

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1 Consumer pulse Winter 2023 report, KPMG LLP, March 2023. Survey fielded January 31, 2023-February 10, 2023. (All slides referenced in this report are from this source unless otherwise noted.)
2 Slide 10
3 Slide 39
4 Slide 26
5 Slide 13
6 Slide 31
7 Slide 26
8 Slide 31
9 Slide 39
10 Slide 43
11 Slide 45
12 Slide 57
13 Slide 63
14 Slide 64
15 Slide 2

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