U.S. Consumers Continue to Spend on Their Stay-At-Home Lifestyle in 2021, Reports NPD

February 18, 2021 – NPD Group – Aided by the economic stimulus payments and with the pandemic still in full swing, consumers continued to spend on categories that make their life at home more comfortable in the first six weeks of 2021, reports The NPD Group.  Consumer spending on general merchandise categories, like housewares, consumer electronic, and small appliances, realized double-digit year-over-year dollar gains in January and the first week of February. Throughout the pandemic, consumers purchased products that make staying at home easier and more palatable. Spending at retail on these and other types of categories, like sports equipment, reached $706 billion in 2020, which was a 1% increase over 2019.1   

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced consumers to adapt, and they did so quickly, shifting their discretionary spending from travel and other experiences towards the here and now of a new homebound lifestyle,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor, retail. “Though there was some struggle to keep pace and align retail marketing and merchandising, this rapid shift in consumer buying behavior propelled several industries, like consumer technology and housewares forward, and digital was at the forefront.”

Online dollar sales of discretionary general merchandise grew 34% in 2020.2 Small appliances, video games, housewares, consumer electronics, and toys were the industries with the strongest overall growth for the year and led the e-commerce charge with online gains greater than 50% each.

Read more at The NPD Group.