SOURCE: WorkPlace Media

WorkPlace Media

June 24, 2009 15:06 ET

Rising Gas Prices Impacts Commuter Driving and Purchase Behavior

Month-Over-Month Increase Suggests Fewer Retail and Restaurant Transactions and an Increased Shift in Shopping Along the Commute Route to Save Gas

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - June 24, 2009) - As the nation teeters between already-higher gas prices and consumer fear of 2008-levels, the American workforce is wasting no time in compensating for the loss of discretionary funds through purchase behavior adjustments. Compared to one month ago, more working consumers are driving less (41.6%) as a result of fluctuating gas prices, suggesting that necessity-driven shopping will be shifted to the commute route.

In a month-over-month review of BIGresearch's June Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey (CIA) by WorkPlace Media, a marketing solutions firm that monitors the purchase behavior of working consumers, data shows an increase in cost-cutting measures being taken by the country's employees to compensate for higher gas prices:

             Actions and purchase behavior of working consumers
                   as a result of fluctuating gas prices

                                                          May        June
                                                          2009       2009

Buying more store brand/generic products                  35.7%     36.8%
Doing more comparative shopping online                    25.0%     29.8%
Shopping for sales more often                             44.3%     46.9%
Shopping more online                                      16.2%     16.9%
Taking fewer shopping trips                               41.2%     45.2%
Taking public transportation more                          4.9%      5.1%
Using coupons more                                        39.3%     44.0%
Deferring auto maintenance/tires                          12.1%     13.6%

Source: BIGresearch Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey, June 09

          Impact on purchase behavior and actions of working consumers
                     as a result of fluctuating gas prices

Delayed major purchase such as car, TV, furniture         25.9%     28.6%
Reduced dining out                                        41.3%     45.0%
Decreased vacation/travel                                 38.0%     41.3%
Increased carpooling                                       7.2%      7.1%
I will be driving less                                    35.4%     41.6%
Spending less on groceries                                20.7%     21.6%
Spending less on clothing                                 34.1%     36.7%
No major impact                                           33.2%     28.2%

Source: BIGresearch Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey, June 09

"Research has shown that the commute is an existing trip that working consumers utilize for shopping and running errands, with as many as 71% stating that they shop on their way to/from work or during a lunch break," says Stephanie Molnar, CEO of WorkPlace Media. "As a result, it only stands to reason that this trend will increase as gas prices continue to rise -- hopefully not to 2008 levels. Therefore, in addition to decreased spending, marketers may see transactions shifting to the hours just before and after work during the commute of working consumers."

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WorkPlace Media is a national media company that delivers superior ROI for the world's most prestigious brands through marketing at work. Additionally, the company conducts ongoing research into the attitudes and purchase behavior of this valuable, largely untapped consumer segment through regular polls and surveys among their network of over 920,000 businesses representing over 64 million working consumers. (

About BIGresearch:

BIGresearch is a consumer intelligence firm providing analysis of behavior in areas of products and services, retail, financial services, automotive and media. BIGresearch conducts the monthly Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA) of 8,000+ respondents and the semi-annual Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM) of 15,000+ respondents. More information is available at

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