WPP report shows significant shift in consumer behaviour

Consumers are spending again, but buying less, says a new report.

This change in purchasing behaviour is long-term and will have transforming impact on retailers, suppliers, media and brands.

These market dynamics are explored in Playbook 2: The Sky Did Not Fall,a new report about retailing in the recession. Published by The Store-WPP, WPP's global retail practice, it draws on WPP's unparalleled knowledge of consumers, retailing, brand and shopper marketing worldwide.

The report is the second in a series developed by The Store-WPP to help retailers and suppliers navigate through these rough times. The first instalment, Playbook 1: Through the Looking Glass was published last winter.

It argued that consumers will move through the recession in three stages, not dissimilar to the way individuals cope with-and emerge from-grief. Consumers were then in Stage One: Acute Distress, which was characterized by anger and sadness. The report anticipated Stage Two: Acceptance and then Stage Three: Moving On.

Playbook 2: The Sky Did Not Fall , reveals that consumers are now solidly in Stage Two. They are shopping again, in stores and online, relieved that the sky did not fall; that economic decline avoided total meltdown. But consumers are chastened.