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ICSC Research: How consumers will spend stimulus checks and when they’ll be comfortable shopping

April 15, 2020

Half the 1,004 U.S. consumers Engine Insights surveyed on behalf of ICSC on April 10-12 expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months; 34 percent expect it to get worse. The federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act garnered favor from 72 percent of those surveyed. Additionally, 62 percent of consumers rank small businesses as 8 or higher on a 10-point scale as being a top priority to receive federal economic assistance.

Eighty-eight percent of U.S. consumers expect to receive stimulus checks from the U.S. government as part of the CARES Act. Of those, 49 percent plan to spend some of those funds on groceries and other household essentials and 35 percent on housing costs like mortgages, rents and utilities. Thirty five percent also plan to put money into savings and 28 percent to pay off credit card debt or other loans. Those who plan to buy other goods or non-essential merchandise total 14 percent.

Share of U.S. consumers who will be comfortable visiting establishments two months after the COVID-19 National Emergency lifts or sooner
Physical stores to buy goods such as clothes, electronics, home décor, etc.
74%: Open-air shopping centers
71%: Restaurants, bars or other eating places
60%: Malls
56%: Personal services like spas, hair/nail or tanning salon, massage parlor, etc.
54%: Other leisure/entertainment complexes, excluding movie theaters
50%: Gyms/fitness centers
50%: Movie theaters
49%: Hotels or tourist sites/attractions

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor/SCT