Sept 1 (Reuters) – Instant coffee, ketchup, Lululemon yoga pants and Nike Air Max sneakers are all in. Bottled water, pricey diapers and Burberry luxury trench coats are out.
Welcome to America’s pandemic consumer economy. And it’s like nothing we’ve seen before.
“Everything we knew about supply and demand, we can essentially throw out the window because consumer behavior has changed completely,” said Piotr Dworczak, assistant professor of economics at Northwestern University.
A Reuters analysis of a varied basket of goods shows how the COVID-19 crisis has upturned a decades-old consumer model for everything from clothing to food. This has given some companies surprising power to raise prices or withdraw discounts.