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Hunker bunker

We're head over heels for home, but can we really keep spending?

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After 18 months of a very home-based life, it’s easy to think the nation's keen to ‘get back out into the world’ – but this isn’t true! Many have enjoyed life at home and want it to continue. We also see a reluctance to socialise and want to be selective about which parts of our ‘old life’ we put back in.

Home means more

Throughout the crisis the home’s roles have been widened while not one has diminished – the biggest changes have been psychological rather than practical

  • A place to feel safe from the virus – the Cautious particularly believing this (and some are still reluctant to let others in their home)

  • At home you’re protected from over-spending because you feel less peer pressure or need for social politeness

  • Have realised there’s peace to be found in being your own person – and relationships develop more naturally when you’re together for more of the time

  • Having spent more time at home, our surroundings are more ‘us’ and less a carbon copy of the Next Directory

  • Freedom! At home, and away from people who might judge us, we’ve tried things we might not have done before (like cooking, DIY or online courses)

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Consumers strive to protect spend

Spending on home is one of the things consumers are keenest to find a way to continue, in spite of the cost-of-living crisis. They want to the square the circle on willingness to take on debt to make home immersive – as it truly does feel a ‘smart investment’ and creates a refuge from other spending.

Of course, this draw of home is a threat to brands that serve social situations where some of us feel we merely fit in rather than belong - like gyms, pubs and music venues

And although consumers are open to ‘finding a way’ when it comes to home spending, we are starting to see this soften a little as they face into the question of ‘how much?’ not ‘if’ they’ll be hit by the cost-of-living squeeze.

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How to win?

It’s likely that purchases which speak to ‘time together’ will have the edge. Anything that helps create relaxing environments (as consumers continue to feel worn out and in need of an escape) will do well, especially those that protect them from wasteful spending when out and about - where all too quickly things can get out of hand.

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