The impact of tariffs on consumer purchase decisions will vary from product to product based on whether shoppers view an item as a necessity or a luxury, according to the results of a recent study by The NPD Group.
In its report “Navigating Pricing In A Post-Tariff World,” NPD mapped more than three dozen general merchandise categories against the relative potential impact of tariffs.
NPD officials said the average selling price of items in a category does not predict the consumer-reported potential for sales impact from price increases. High- and low-price items appear in all category groups regardless of the expected magnitude of the tariff impact. Higher prices, however, do correlate to a degree with increased odds of consumers delaying a purchase.
Within housewares, the kitchen electrics category is likely to feel a negative sales impact because of the tariffs.
“Consumer perceptions will determine the effect of tariffs on overall spending and the economy,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor with The NPD Group. “Consumers will balance price and value according to their preferences and needs, trading down or delaying inessential purchases.”
Sales in several categories viewed as necessities such as automotive, men’s and women’s underwear, skin care and baby gear will see less of a negative impact because of the tariffs, NPD said.