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Revenge spending explained: Will luxury brands see a boost post-lockdown?

The new norm: a teen walks along the street wearing a face mask.

As we start to see COVID-19 cases reduce, countries including the UK, Australia and the US are reopening non-essential businesses, including retail. Retailers with physical stores will be excited about the prospect of reopening after months of empty high streets, and they’ll be hoping for a boom in custom to make up for recent losses. Based on the experiences of other countries, what can they expect when the lights go back on?

Emerging trend: revenge spending

Market analysts have looked to China for an insight into what’s to come for retailers in other countries. One trend that inspired excitement is the concept of “revenge spending,” where shoppers spend more to make up for not being able to shop previously. In China, queues formed outside stores such as Nike after lockdown ended, and there was a surge in spending on luxury goods. For example, designer brand Hermes took $2.7 million at its flagship store on its first day open, the highest one-day sales figure for any luxury outlet in China.

Brands we work with in China have been sharing positive news about the country’s determination to get its economy back up-and-running, and the excitement about returning to physical stores that we’re seeing in other territories gives an optimistic outlook. However, this should be balanced with caution, as we’ll have to continue to track spending trends as the year goes on, as the impact of the economic crisis on consumers’ disposable income may become more apparent.

Practical tips for brands

From a marketing perspective, what can brands do to prepare for stores reopening? Clear messaging about which stores will be opening and when, and assurance that safety measures will be in place, will be essential to make customers feel comfortable. Special offers to celebrate reopening, such as a boosted student discount, will also help to ensure your store is the first on shoppers’ lists to visit.

Are your brand’s post-COVID preparations underway? Find out about the opportunities to partner with Student Beans on a bespoke student loyalty program for your brand.

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