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Why millennials are revenge shopping

Festivities and online sales have given people the perfect excuse to splurge after spending months inside home

Shopping malls are seeing more visitors during the ongoing festive season. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (AFP)

Priyanka Rai has spent Rs20,000 in a week’s time on online purchases. “I was itching to spend money,” she laughs. A self-confessed “over-shopper”, Rai, 28, didn’t spend a single rupee while confined to her bedroom, working, sleeping, eating or watching Netflix.

“Since March, I was at home. We were extremely cautious. We even started ordering food from outside only in September,” says the Delhi-based HR professional, who was waiting for the festive season to splurge. “It’s good in a way that I didn’t spend anything. I can now buy whatever I want at discounted prices and I have a reason for it.”

With cities opening up, people stepping out and e-commerce sites like Flipkart and Amazon offering festive season sale, an increasing number of consumers are ready to “revenge shop”, an anticipated flood of post-lockdown purchases to make up for months of inactivity, despite suffering salary cuts. According to a consumer sentiment survey, published in October, by management consulting firm Redseer, 80% consumers are looking to spend on fashion categories during this festive season sales. In comparison, 34% customers are looking to increase their spend on fashion buys this festive season sale, while only 21% customers look to up their budget for buying smartphones. In fact, on an average, close to 90% of consumers surveyed said they will be shopping during the festive sales, shows the Redseer report.

Perhaps that’s why Flipkart, which kicked off its Big Billion Days sale on 16 October, has partnered with more than 100 brands this festive season to help bring across 2,000 fashion stores on to its platform, serving customers in more than 300 cities. Over the past months, the Walmart-owned e-commerce major has also partnered with several value-fashion brands, including Bata and Max Fashion, to cater to the changing budgets of Tier 2 customers. On the other end, Amazon India, which, for the first time, is hosting its festive season sale for a month, has shifted its focus to large numbers of small-and-medium businesses (SMBs) to give a boost to the seller market. The Amazon India sale started over a week ago.

Ravi Sharma, 34, was waiting for the online sales to start his wedding shopping. “Our initial plan was to wait for the lockdown to ease and then go out to buy, but then we thought it’s safer to buy online—and there are so many options,” says Sharma, who’s getting married on 14 January. He’s spent over Rs30,000 on clothes and household items in the past 10 days. “I slashed my budget for wedding preparations since my salary is still getting deducted. So online offers work better for me.” His soon-to-be wife, Sonakshi Gupta, is “thrilled” to shop again after months. “I’m excited over something after so long. Shopping definitely lifts my mood,” she laughs.

Earlier this month, Louis Vuitton enjoyed an unexpected rebound in consumers’ appetite for dresses and monogram bags, buoying third-quarter sales, reports Bloomberg. Revenue at LVMH’s fashion and leather goods unit jumped 12% in the third quarter as the luxury company cited strong sales of items like Christian Dior’s $3,000-and-up Bobby bags, showing the eagerness of consumers to splurge despite a dire economic backdrop.

Rai, too, has decided that she will buy a designer lehenga for Diwali. “I’m going all out this year. 2020 has been such a disaster. I want buy something that makes me really happy.”

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