The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted last Tuesday that the Dutch economy is heading for a downturn of 7.5%. Just before the announcement of this figure, the Consumer Behaviour Monitor showed that seven out of ten Dutch people (68%) are also worried about a possible approaching economic crisis. Remarkably, we do not see this reflected so much in consumer behaviour.

More than half of the Dutch population (57%) now spends as much or more time buying luxury goods as designer clothes or electronics. Larger expenses such as the purchase of a telephone, sustainable solutions for a home or the purchase of a home are therefore postponed by only a minority of consumers. If we also consider that more than three-quarters of consumers have money left over in this day and age, this offers opportunities for providers of high-involvement products and services.

Savings trend continues In
addition, last week's savings trend continues: the money that people are left over because they have to stay at home is often saved and invested. This shows an increase of 7% compared to last week.

Martin Leeflang, CEO Validators: "People are hoarding their money. They can't go on holiday or to a restaurant or theatre, leaving money to spend 'when they can again'. This can lead to a post-corona boom. This then helps consumption to get going again. It also means that people suddenly have more money to fulfill that one long cherished wish for a more expensive product or service. What are marketers going to do to entice consumers to empty their piggy banks?

In villages extra money goes home and garden, in cities more clothing purchases
More than half (52%) of the consumers who now have money left, spend it on home and garden related products. This is an increase compared to last week: 20% increase in spending on jobs, 16% in furnishing the house. In villages the increase is even bigger (+34% jobs, +24% furnishing). In the big cities we see that 32% of the people who have money left over will buy more clothes. An increase of 14%.

(Online) newspapers are gaining in popularity
The media consumption of the average Dutchman has remained largely unchanged during the corona crisis. However, consumers make more use of news channels (54%), online newspapers (41%) and film and serial channels (44%). News channels are increasingly being used by older consumers, while use by younger consumers is slowly assuming normal proportions. The online newspaper has gained popularity among younger consumers in particular during the crisis. Striking detail is that 22% of consumers use the paper newspaper more. A ray of hope for newspaper publishers, who have seen their sales figures fall sharply in recent years.

Read now also the blog of Hide & Seek'Trends in consumer behaviour during the Covid-19 crisis'.

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Joris van der Zwan

Joris van der Zwan

Client Consultant