Ten Trends That Will Shape The Way We Live This Year
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Ten Trends That Will Shape The Way We Live This Year

Expect a new type of frugality as many change their spending to buy more secondhand items.

Tue, Jan 18, 2022 11:03amGrey Clock 4 min

Consumers will evolve past being frugal this year by becoming more aware of their spending behaviours and looking for alternatives to buy goods in less traditional ways, said market research firm Euromonitor International in its annual prediction report.

The company’s annual trend report forecasts what consumers will value in the coming year and how companies should adapt to those behaviours. This year, consumers will change their spending in subtle ways. They will also even experiment with the metaverse, the research firm said.

“We see the middle class resetting and thinking about their spending, but we see that way beyond—everybody’s being a lot more frugal,” said Alison Angus, head of lifestyles research at Euromonitor.

Euromonitor traditionally begins the forecasting process around July. The fast-spreading Omicron variant has slowed down recovery efforts across industries and among consumers, but many of the forecasted trends are unaffected, Ms. Angus said.

Ahead are Euromonitor’s predictions for global consumer trends in 2022:

Supply-chain workarounds

Product shortages and disruptions have spurred consumers to use subscription services or buy secondhand to find what they want. Companies need to adapt to these individuals by offering alternatives to items, said Ms. Angus. Virtual queue systems present an opportunity for shoppers to get a place in line and hope they receive a product, the research firm said. Offering rental or refurbished products is another chance to keep that customer’s loyalty as does enticing them with exclusive or presale items.

Climate change becomes top of mind

The 26th conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, otherwise known as COP26, made consumers think about their everyday actions in relation to climate change, said Ms. Angus. People are looking to cut back on food waste, reduce their plastic use and recycle more. Sixty-seven per cent of consumers surveyed by Euromonitor stated that they tried to do something every day to have a beneficial impact on the environment. Climate change and sustainability are trends that continue to evolve from previous years, but in 2022, younger consumers will have more of an impact on their peers, parents and grandparents.

Senior citizens optimize their digital lives

The pandemic forced many people to adjust their behaviours, such as shopping for groceries online for the first time. That trend was especially popular among seniors. Now, this group of consumers want to continue their digital use, and companies should respond accordingly by offering training, support and making products that are easy to use, the research firm said. For some companies, it may mean making an app or website function the same across all types of devices such as a laptop or smartphone, Ms. Angus said.

Taking control of finances

The pandemic’s instability caused many consumers to become more aware of their finances, as well as experiment with investing and trying out cryptocurrencies, the firm said. Companies should offer ways to educate consumers about their financial services or make products more accessible, such as lowering fees, Ms. Angus said.

Prioritizing personal values and goals

Thirty-four percent of people in the latest survey preferred to spend money on experiences as opposed to products in 2021, compared with 27% in 2015. Companies need to address the change by becoming flexible to what consumers want, whether they are still working or looking for a new job opportunity. “Last year, we were talking about consumers rethinking their priorities and what their life wants to be like,” Ms. Angus said. “This year…they’re actually making the changes.”

The metaverse switches from experiment to a reality

Consumers who were forced to conduct their lives online via video chats are now changing their behaviour to engage with digital worlds and communities, Ms. Angus said. Virtual concerts, sales of nonfungible tokens and dressing avatars are behaviours that consumers are tapping into, and some companies are meeting them there, the research firm said. “Any business can’t afford not to be thinking about this,” Ms. Angus said. “Because it is happening and consumers are going there.”

Secondhand loses the stigma

Buying items secondhand is no longer stigmatized. It has become a sought-after option for consumers who want to have unique items or are shopping on a budget. Options such as gift cards or buyback programs that promote secondhand shopping behaviours from consumers are winning them over. Companies should meet this demand by addressing consumers who want to bring in older versions of items and receive a voucher or repair them in-store, Ms. Angus said.

City residents opt for suburban and rural perks

People who stayed in cities and didn’t flee to the suburbs during the pandemic now want some of the advantages of living outside a city, such as having access to green spaces. Others want more services closer to their homes, with many still working from home, the research firm said. Companies should aim to bring shops and services closer to them that don’t require a train or car ride. “Making everything accessible to consumers within 15 minutes,” Ms. Angus said.

Indulgence in self-care and happiness

Fifty-six per cent of consumers expect to be happier in the next five years, the firm stated. To reach that nirvana, people are buying products that help their mind and body, such as cannabis products or meditation courses. Personalized shopping experiences that can predict a consumer’s needs will become a key component in reaching these people, Ms. Angus said.

Hybrid approaches to socialization

As the pandemic continues, consumers are becoming fragmented: those who want to go back to their normal lives and engage in social activities, and those who remain cautious. This means hybrid possibilities, such as digital visits or waiving cancellation fees, can address the needs of different consumers, the firm said. Products and services need to become multifaceted and seamless to serve this split consumer base, Ms. Angus said.

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: January 17, 2022.


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The 390-acre property has 2 miles of frontage on the Rogue River

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Former “Dallas” star Patrick Duffy is putting his roughly 390-acre Oregon ranch on the market for $14 million.

The property sits along the Rogue River outside the city of Medford in southern Oregon, according to Alan DeVries of Sotheby’s International Realty, who has the listing with colleague Matt Cook.

Mr. Duffy said he bought the first roughly 130 acres of the property in 1990 for roughly $1.5 million with his late wife, Carlyn Rosser. The couple spent roughly two decades and about $3 million buying surrounding properties when they went up for sale, said the actor, who has made the ranch his primary home since the early 2000s.

“My family always felt like we were stewards as opposed to owners,” said Mr. Duffy, 73. “We kept the boundaries sacred.”

Mr. Duffy said he first saw the property while fishing with a friend. The property contained a few structures, including what is now the main house, but was mostly wilderness, he said.

“It was pristine,” he said. “There was no paved road. There were some trails through the woods and about a mile—a little less than a mile—of river frontage.”

Mr. Duffy said he flew Ms. Rosser out to see the ranch, and they bought it. The main house has four bedrooms, and connects to a gallery where the couple displayed their art collection. They converted a caretaker’s cottage into a one-bedroom guesthouse with a loft. They also added a building that contains a hot tub overlooking the river, a structure for an indoor lap pool, and a wine cellar built into the side of a mountain, all within walking distance of each other.

As they purchased adjacent properties over the years, they acquired eight more houses and several pastures that are rented out to local ranchers. One of the homes was demolished, six are rented to tenants, and one is used as the ranch manager’s house, according to Mr. Duffy.

“We became a working ranch but not with our own animals,” he said. “It added the most beautiful, bucolic sense of the place.”

A homestead that dates back over 100 years still sits at the entrance to the property, he said. In it he found an old stove, which he restored and put in the main house. But the majority of the roughly 390 acres remains wilderness. The property now has approximately 2 miles of river frontage, according to Mr. DeVries.

For roughly a decade, Mr. Duffy and Ms. Rosser used the ranch as a family getaway from their primary home in Los Angeles. Then in the early 2000s, when their children went off to college, they decided to move there full time.

Ms. Rosser died in 2017, and Mr. Duffy said he plans to move full-time to either California or Colorado. He will keep a few parcels of land that aren’t attached to the main ranch, according to Mr. DeVries.

Mr. Duffy is well-known for his role as Bobby Ewing in the TV drama “Dallas,” which ran from 1978 to 1991. He also played Frank Lambert on the 1990s sitcom “Step By Step.” Today he runs an online sourdough business, called Duffy’s Dough, with his partner, Linda Purl.

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