Revenge Shopping and What It Means For Post Covid World

If watching Rebecca Bloomwoodc splurge her money on buying new things in the movie, ‘Confessions Of A Shopaholic’ made you relate to her idea of using excessive shopping as a coping mechanism to the low days in life, you are one of the many who are having a hard time staying happy in this pandemic. However, some of the biggest financial publications right from Forbes to Economic Times and The Print, havre been studying and predicting consumer behavior in a post-Covid world and have come to the conclusion that we will be witnessing something called ‘Revenge Shopping’.

So what exactly is Revenge Shopping? Simply put, it is when one overindulges in the act of shopping because of having missed out on their favourite brands due to the lockdown. Numbers suggest that this trend was noticeably visible in China and US just as their lockdowns were lifted. Hermes’ Guangzhou, a French brand’s flagship store in China, did $2.7 million in sales on the day it reopened. As soon as the lockdown was lifted, even stores such as Apple, Nike, Gucci and Estee Lauder had long queues outside their outlets. Revenge shopping has already shown its effects in China and US; a department store in US saw a whopping 21% increase in their sales.

So can we expect to see the same trend in India, post-pandemic? Very likely so! The National Retail Federation predicts that retail sales are expected to grow between 6.5% and 8.2% in the latter half 2021, which would be the fastest growth since 2004.

Statistics suggest that while a large chunk of people are, and will be, struggling financially to make ends meet post-lockdown, there is also a substantial sect of the elite class who is waiting to get back to their routine of pampering themselves with luxury brands and indulging in spending. This phenomena is providing hope for economy revival and big brands are hoping that this trend will help them with faster financial recovery.

The pandemic has been a very difficult period to deal with for all strata of the society, right from the ‘Richie Rich’ to those living hand to mouth. With being forced to stay at home, and the daily consumption of negative news about the current state of our country, most people have been mentally struggling to keep a positive spirit. This provides all the more reason for the privileged ones to participate in the ‘Revenge Shopping’ trend, to celebrate the big feeling of freedom.

While ‘Revenge Shopping’ as a topic relates to retail buying, the same trend could be applied to the hospitality and travel industries too. With bars buzzing and restaurants finally opening up with full seating capacity, customers will be more than willing to go out and soak in the experience of dine-in. The positive behavior of consumers in India before we got hit by the second wave proves this. A Pune-based local restaurant and bar, saw a 150% increase in their sales during November and December, in spite of being shut since March last year. Another popular bar in Pune saw a rise in their deliveries as well since the ease in restrictions made the consumers realize what they were missing out on.

It is human nature to take things that we have access to for granted, and want them all the more when we they have absolutely been denied to us. And since the spread of the corona virus in the last quarter of 2019, the only thing humans have been put under are restrictions – from going out, from travelling, from spending money, from meeting our loved ones and from enjoying a good meal/drink at a restaurant.

So the trend of ‘Revenge Shopping’ will be an exciting one for consumers and will also help boost the economy. We can’t wait to see how it would turn out! Will you be among those participating in this trend?

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