Study says office workers spend $134 per week on retail

Office workers, which represent about 60% of the U.S. workforce, spend an average of $134 per week on meals and consumer goods, according to a recent study. Suburban workers spend 10% more than their counterparts in downtown areas, according to ICSC’s Office Worker Retail Spending Patterns report.

According to the study undertaken by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), office workers make 2.6 shopping trips per work week on retail expenditures, which includes purchases of mall-type merchandise, grocery, variety, drug and convenience items made during lunch, after work but before arriving home. Office workers in the suburbs spend slightly more ($143) than workers in downtowns ($130).

The study also detailed what percentage of office workers purchase their lunch and how much these workers spend per meal. A total of 82% of respondents said they purchase their lunch outside the office at least once a week (76% in suburbs and 85% in downtowns), spending about $7 per meal—with a third of the workforce finding time to shop during their lunch breaks.

The results were based on a telephone survey of 1,500 office workers during October 2003 in five metropolitan areas; Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Survey participants were full-time office workers who were 18-years and older, and were conducted at their places of work.

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