Some Americans spend $1,200 stimulus checks on non-essentials including electronics

There’s evidence that some Americans are spending their $1,200 stimulus checks on non-essentials including electronics, video games, sporting goods, and toys, according to major retailers.

Some Americans spend their $1,200 stimulus checks on non-essentials including electronics. Image: MacBook Air features advanced stereo speakers for immersive, wide stereo sound and a three-mic array for more clear voice capture during FaceTime calls.
Apple’s new MacBook Air (2020)

Elisabeth Buchwald for MarketWatch:

Both Walmart and Target saw increased consumer demand for discretionary goods in mid-April as the stimulus payments from the $2.2-trillion CARES Act flowed into Americans’ bank accounts, the companies’ CEOs said this week… At Walmart and Target, shoppers bought more TVs, electronics, gaming equipment and apparel. Walmart also saw increased demand for adult-sized bikes.

The different phases of the pandemic have shaped shoppers’ choices. As stay-at-home orders were enacted across the country, “parents became teachers,” McMillon said on the company’s earnings call. “Adult bicycles started selling out, as parents started to join the kids. An overlapping trend then started emerging related to DIY and home-related activities.”

Sales took off in mid-April when many Americans began to receive their $1,200 stimulus checks. Within 10 days of receiving their stimulus checks, households spent around one quarter to one third of it, research shows… Before the checks were issued on April 15, there was “not as much demand” for discretionary goods at Walmart, said spokesman Randy Hargrove, adding that sales took off “towards the end of the quarter.” Target Corp. also experienced “a rapid increase in traffic and sales” for discretionary goods driven by the distribution of stimulus checks, CEO Brian Cornell said on the company’s Wednesday earnings call.

Apple also saw sales increase after stimulus payments went out, Cook said on the company’s April 30 earnings call. “A part of it is due to just our new products,” Cook said. But another part of it is also “due to the stimulus programs taking effect in April.”

MacDailyNews Take: Good news for Apple and for the overall economy!

23 Comments

    1. Gee what a surprise. (Not.).

      The money didn’t come from the President. It came from Congress and is the taxpayer’s money to disperse, not Trump’s private bank account (though certainly Trump would love to confiscate all American’s money for his very own).

      1. It’s nothing without President Trump’s signature.

        1. Hey, sherm66. You are mistaken on labeling an economic stimulus payment from the government as socialism. Socialism requires that the government owns the means of production. Socialism is the post office, the fire department, the police department and public libraries because in those instances, the government owns them.

        2. Sherm66 you’re a f**king idiot. You don’t even know what the word Socialism means nor the context within American society. Just more Trump-sh* misdirection. I guess you loving aping the cliches without really thinking about it eh?

    2. Hi

      People had power,natural gas, and other utilities turned off. Where are there help to there customers? It might not be in NY or other cities but in red stares where Mitch Mc Connell is from, private hospitals holding there patients hostage till they pay three bills in the same red states.This money came from the house to the senate abd signed by Trump but some state’s failed to pass measures on utilities and allowing customers to pay later when hobs return.

  1. The $1,200 payments are officially called “stimulus”. Their purpose is to stimulate the economy by giving cash To people so that they will spend it. This increases demand for products which forces stores and manufacturers to increase hiring which in turn increases demand for products and employment. It’s a very simple and logical thing to do.

    1. Beat me to this comment. These aren’t stimulate my “essentials” or my bank account checks. Data from the last time mass stimulus checks were dispersed (great recession) had the complete opposite effect: People hoarded the money in their savings and didn’t spend on the economy.

      This is exactly what you want to see.

      1. It’s worth remembering the checks sent were $600 greater that what’s “standard.” Don signed off on that, but the increase was a “D” “suggestion.”

        These larger checks are encouraging some, enough to have consequences, to NOT return to work because they make more from the govt’s supplement.

        If the economy isn’t moving along by fall, Don’s re-election chances are greatly reduced. The electorate not working because of juicy checks and employers folding because those juicy checks make it difficult to find people to work for less than the govt’s check, means the economy will be far from healthy. Bad scenario for Don.

        To say one party is working the system with the checks to “bribe” and the other is not…ahh, no.

    2. Not an American, and not getting a check. But it would have been good if somehow the stimulus could have some kind of buy American mandate. Like here a stimulus card and with it you can buy local and use it for 100% of the cost or if you buy something made outside of the U.S. you can only use it for 33% of the cost and you have to come up with the remainder.
      So buy food grown in the U.S. 100% buy an iPad made in China not unless you have 66% of the cost available from another source.

  2. As someone self-employed and cannot apply for unemployment benefits in my state and might not have anything to go back to, I am still waiting for my Federal government check, but I won’t be using it for electronics.

    Since my State government ordered me to shelter in place as non-essential and not had a livlihood income for a few months and my City government sent out property taxes with no accounting for people who have been living off dwindling savings, paying for food and medicine, that the date due of said taxes should have been adjusted since it was the government that stopped my ability to make money to pay taxes.

    Excuse me if I “take a knee”, starting with this Memorial Day, regarding the actions of my government, you know, the government where all the politicians who said “we are all in this together” and yet not one politician in solidarity said they would forgo pay until the unemployment rate returns to where it basically was before the lock down of this nation’s economy!

  3. Having just gotten the stimulus check accompanying letter, it is apparent that the $1200 check is just an enticement to open the campaign letter from The Don. Pretty egregious behavior by an elected official to use his office to campaign. But the rules of democracy don’t matter any more, and it’s all about winning — even if the candidate has to pay $1200 per vote.

    Oh, and that bribe check? Converted to hundred dollar bills and sitting in the fire safe, waiting for a rainy day.

  4. In the work-from-home era, not having a quality laptop or iPad could make you unable to do your job. Also, quarantining requires something for you to do. A Playstation that keeps you away from crowed areas could save your life.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.