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Retail Forward’s new ShopperScape newsletter reports that “as the price of gas accelerates above $2.00 a gallon, consumers are beginning to feel the burn at the pump and most are already or at least planning to modify their driving accordingly. Watch for consumers, especially in the Down and Middle Markets, to down shift travels and shop closer to home this summer.”

According to ShopperScape, “more than half (55%) agree that they are planning trips to run errands to minimize distance traveled,” while “about 44% agree that they are going to stores that are closer to home so that they don't have to drive as far.” However, “only one-fifth are ready to change their vacation plans due to high gas prices, but if prices stay high consumers plan to further change their driving behavior.”
KC's View:
While reports over the weekend suggested that gasoline prices were beginning to back off a bit, the increasingly unstable political situation in the Middle East makes any long-term prognostication problematic at best.

One thing seems sure, though. Retailers would be wise to incorporate this apparent trend into their marketing plans, figuring out ways to save their customers time and money by catering to their concerns about petrol prices.