Downturn: Eateries hardest hit

2008-08-05 00:00

An online survey by Virgin Money to assess South Africans’ response to the tough economic climate has found that restaurants and clothing stores are likely to bear the brunt of consumer angst.

Spokesman Grant Henry said the poll asked people from around the country how they feel about five major barometers of consumer confidence compared to this time last year.

Compared to a year ago, 77% of people said they are eating out in restaurants less often, while nine percent said they were eating out more frequently. Fourteen percent reported no change.

The poll also showed that 75% of people are buying new clothes less often, eight percent buy clothes more often and 17% reported no changes.

“When asked about job security, the results are mixed — 31% of people said they are more worried about losing their jobs than this time last year, while the same percentage reported feeling less worried,” said Henry, adding that 38% felt the same as a year ago.

Consumers have also become choosier according to the poll. When quizzed about checking prices, 88% reported checking prices more often than a year ago. Three percent said they checked prices less often and nine percent said there was no difference.

Compared to 12 months ago, 60% of people said that they are less likely to consider buying a new car, 25% said their intentions are unchanged and 15% said they are more likely to buy a new car.

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