SEOUL, April 10 (Korea Bizwire) — One in four Seoul citizens turned to “revenge spending” to make up for missed shopping during the coronavirus pandemic, a study has shown.
According to a Wednesday report by the Seoul Institute, a think tank for the Seoul metropolitan government, 24.3 percent of those surveyed in the first quarter said they had spent more than usual on certain goods due to pent-up demand during COVID-19 isolation.
About a third, or 30.2 percent, said their revenge spending happened in the fourth quarter of last year, followed by 23.4 percent in January and February 2021, 16.8 percent in the third quarter of 2020, 15.8 percent in the first quarter and 13.7 percent in the second quarter.
By type of item, 44 percent chose food, followed by electronic devices (20.3 percent), luxury goods (13.1 percent) and stocks and other financial assets (5.8 percent).
Asked why they engaged in revenge spending, 36.4 percent said it was caused by depressed feelings, while 18.6 percent cited delayed shopping from staying at home, and 18.2 percent viewed it as an alternative to traveling expenditures.
On the impact of revenge spending on personal happiness, 41.6 percent said it was “positive” while 25.4 percent said it was “negative.”
The opposite was true for its impact on household budgets, with 50.9 percent responding it was negative and 17.5 percent saying it was positive.
Of those inexperienced with revenge spending, 10.1 percent said they intended to try it in the areas of travel, both domestic and overseas (28.3 percent), electronic devices (17.4 percent) and food (16.3 percent).
Meanwhile, a consumer sentiment index dropped from 89.4 points in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 89 points in the first quarter of 2021, reflecting falling consumer confidence. In the first three quarters of last year, the figure was 82.8, 86.1 and 87.9.
The study was conducted on 1,200 Seoul citizens.