There is a particular section of my upcoming book, Shiny Objects, which exposes the crazy things we do as consumers. I refer to the short vignettes that appear throughout the book as “Consumers Gone Wild” (CGW). The opening CGW vignette talks about how much Americans spend on their pets. It is estimated, and remember we’re still in the middle of a recession (I don’t care what anyone else says), that we will spend somewhere in the area of $58 Billion, yes, that’s Billion with a capital “B”, in 2011 alone. Remember, a billion dollars is equivalent to a thousand million. So, it is forecasted that Americans will spend $58,000 million dollars on their pets this year.
If my math is correct and assuming 127 million US households, we will spend $456.69 per household on our furry friends this year. That’s an average of $193.33 for every man, woman, and child in the US. And, in a somewhat related story, it is estimated that Americans will spend nearly $7 Billion on Halloween this year. Spending on Halloween decorations is running a close second to how much we spend on Christmas décor. Well, you might ask, what does this have to do about our furry friends? Well, according to the National Retail Federation, $310 million of that $7 Billion will be spent on Halloween costumes for our pets. Your pooch can dress up as a honey bee, Lobster dog, Bat dog, Darth Vader Dog, a somewhat blushing bride, or hundreds of other whimsical characters. And, I haven’t even mentioned the kindly grandma in Denver Colorado who is a member in good standing of the National Cookie Cutter Collectors Club (I like to refer to them as NC4) who owns 10,000 cookie cutters. Next week we will talk about where we keep all this “stuff”.
Dr. Jim RobertsDr. Roberts is a leading researcher on consumer behavior and the Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His book SHINY OBJECTS is available on Amazon.
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