Broke Consumers Are Filling Up Carts And Leaving Them

This is a depressing phenomenon, if it’s real. According to the Associated Press, consumers are ditching items before they buy them. They’ve always done this, of course, but now they are supposedly doing it more.

The AP acknowledges that there’s little hard evidence for their theory:

Hard numbers are difficult to come by, but Burt P. Flickinger III, a retail consultant, estimates that in 25 percent of shoppers’ trips to the store, they’re ditching at least one item. In the recession of the early 1990s, it was 15 to 20 percent. In good times, it’s more like 10 percent.

Ashley Nichols Guttuso of Midlothian, Va., dumped a red cardigan last week at the counter at the local Limited store after she found out she couldn’t use a $15 store coupon on the $15 sweater.

She told the AP that she only went to the store because she thought she could get something for free. They also suggest that some people are going to the store so they feel like they are shopping, and then just ditching the cart. Other reasons given include new-found frugality, and having one’s credit card declined.

What do you think?

More shoppers thinking twice in the checkout line [Baltimore Sun]
(Photo:cromonna)