Industries See a Rise in the Number of People Adopting an Off-Price Lifestyle
SYMS Corporation Offers an Affordable Way to Shop Designer Labels During Tough Economic Times
NEW YORK (July 8, 2009) – With everyone feeling the recession, and consumer spending hitting a lull, people are discovering savvy ways to recession-shop. The rise in the number of unemployed has left many industries, including airlines, retail, and fine dining, struggling to get half the business they once had. But some industries are seeing a spike in their consumer base.
Statistics are revealing that many Americans are adjusting to the current state of the economy with an off-price lifestyle approach. Fashionistas are being replaced by recessionistas, restaurant regulars are re-creating their favorite meals at home, vacationers have become staycationers, and entertainment lovers have found low-cost pastimes. Smart shoppers everywhere are looking for alternative ways to save money without having to compromise their lifestyle.
Sixty-four percent of women and 59% of men have said that they are planning on spending less in the nation’s retail stores this year. This is not surprising, and discount retail stores are seeing an increase in revenue growth compared to other retailers and luxury boutiques, which are experiencing decreasing revenues.
“We’re seeing more savvy shoppers since the economic downturn,” says SYMS Spokesperson Robert Syms. “The off-price lifestyle has given new meaning to how consumers are thinking about shopping, with Educated Consumers learning they can shop chic without the huge price tag.”
SYMS is the off-price retail leader, offering label-loving consumers authentic designer name brands in clothing at significantly lower prices that are perfect for any budget. Dedicated to giving consumers an alternative to the high-end fashion retail stores, SYMS is committed to providing Educated Consumers with real bargains on designer labels.
Mr. Syms notes, “This economy has created opportunities for us to increase our buying power. Our customers are benefitting from the fact that we have been able to lower our price points to levels consumers haven’t seen in eight or more years. A $350 designer suit that we traditionally sell at $199, we are now selling for $159. And that’s for a recognizable designer name brand! It’s a major advantage for consumers who are trying to remain stylish in a tough job market.”
Restaurants across the United States, especially fine-dining restaurants, are noticing a change in their customers’ behavior, and one report states that:
o 33% of restaurant patrons are growing more aware of menu prices
o 28% of diners are switching over to inexpensive restaurants
o 20% of diners are indicating that they are cutting out alcohol, appetizers, and desserts in an effort to save additional money
With people hesitant to spend money on traveling, airlines are feeling the pinch. Many have cut prices nearly in half just to try to lure people to book flights. This summer, the number of people flying for a vacation fell by 1.3% and it is expected to decline by an additional 2.2%, according to a study done by consultants at IHS Global Insight and D.K. Shifflet & Associates. One Delta Airlines executive even said that “passenger revenues have dropped nearly 20% in the first four months of this year.”
With a new outlook on off-price living, consumers are also taking advantage of commuting in more wallet-friendly ways, such as bike riding and walking. And they’re taking more staycations. Fifty-one percent of Americans said they plan on taking one or more staycations this summer, including 24% who said they are changing their traditional summer vacation to a staycation.
Skilled shoppers are even exploring low-cost ways to stay entertained. And the availability of low-priced services such as Netflix has made movie rentals a cheap form of home leisure. Since 2007, Netflix’s customer base has tripled in size, to 10 million subscribers.
And for those that don’t want to give-up their Broadway obsession, the rise in discount theater tickets has led to an increase in sales, even in a down economy. So far this season Broadway has pulled in $713 million, which is about $30 million more than this point last season.10
As consumers continue to educate themselves about alternative budgetary options, they will realize that they don’t have to give up their lifestyle in this recession. “At our SYMS stores, we’re seeing a rise in the number of budget-conscious consumers who recognize that, while they need to be more mindful of their money, they don’t have to sacrifice style or quality,” Mr. Syms adds.
For additional information on SYMS, please visit syms.com.
SYMS Corporation was founded in 1958 by Sy Syms, and has 30 stores within 13 states (Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia).
SYMS provides consumers with designer clothing at affordable prices, and was one of the first retail stores to offer name-brand clothing from top designers in the industry at substantially lower prices than conventional retail stores.
Since its beginning, SYMS has been committed to giving Educated Consumers real bargains on real designer clothes. SYMS offers a broad range of in-season, first-quality brands from over 200 authentic top designer and brand names for men, women, and children—in an impressive selection of styles and sizes. Noted for its business and tailored clothing assortments, SYMS also offers an impressive collection of casual clothing, shoes, and accessories at off price.
The company’s long-running tagline is one of the most recognizable in America: “An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer.®” It emphasizes that knowledgeable consumers know and appreciate the quality, fabric, and fit of brand-name merchandise, and recognize the value when they find it at off-price.
In 1983 SYMS became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SYMS), and in April 2008 the company moved to the NASDAQ.
Peot, Joanna, “Americans plan to spend less at retail this year, finds Mintel,” Mintel International, Nov. 26, 2008.
Thomson One Analytics, 2009.
Zagat, Tim, Zagat Survey, 2009.
IHS Global Insight and D.K. Shifflet & Associates, 2009.
Weber, Harry, “Airlines struggling to cover expenses in midst of recession,” Associated Press, June 12, 2009.
Weber GrillWatch Pulse™, “National Poll Shows More Americans Planning Summer ‘Staycations’ And More Time Around the Grill,” June 18, 2008.
Netflix, Inc., 2008 Annual Report—Subscribers, Revenue and Net Income, 2008.
10 CBS News, Priya David, CBS News Correspondent “Despite Recession, Broadway Booming”, May 30, 2009