Consumer research snapshot: Shoppers seek value on Memorial Day purchases

Outdoor summer products have appeared in shopping baskets for weeks, and data shows Memorial Day celebration plans have increased over last year.
Elizabeth Christenson
Editor, Retail Leader
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As consumers officially enter the summer holiday season, a quarter of them plan to shop online this Memorial Day, according to Numerator. Slightly fewer consumers (22%) plan to shop online for the Fourth of July, and 27% plan to end the traditional barbecue season on Labor Day by shopping online. Unsurprisingly, consumers are expected to shop online more for holidays this summer that involve gift giving, such as Father’s Day (44%).

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This year, three-quarters of U.S. consumers plan to celebrate Memorial Day, according to Numerator. All celebration plans increased versus Memorial Day 2022, and 92% of celebrators planned to make purchases. The top celebration plans include grilling/barbecuing (59%), attending or hosting a party (43%) and cooking/baking (23%). 

More than three-quarters of consumers expect rising prices to impact their Memorial Day spending, according to Numerator. The majority of consumers (82%) will try to save money this Memorial Day. Celebrators said: 

  • 54% will buy items on sale. 
  • 28% will use more coupons. 
  • 28% will prepare budget-friendly foods. 
  • 20% will switch to store/private label brands. 
  • 17% will shop at dollar stores.
  • 12% will reduce their travel.
  • 11% will buy smaller items.

Food purchases top consumers’ shopping lists, as 83% plan to buy food, followed by alcohol beverages (46%), non-alcoholic beverages (35%), party supplies (16%) and decorations (11%). Among those planning to buy alcohol, the top choice is beer (70%), followed by wine (43%), hard seltzers (30%) and spirits (30%). More consumers plan to purchase spirits and hard seltzers than they did last year, according to Numerator.

Additionally, outdoor summer products started appearing in shopping baskets in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day, according to Numerator. Unit sales spiked for summer categories, such as sunscreen (up 109%), pool floats and pool noodles (up 81%) and grills (up 54%), in the month leading up to Memorial Day.