Move over, recession. Women are front and center in leading this summer’s consumer spending, and the results are breathing a little life into an anemic economy.
If you’ve noticed hordes of people decked in swaths of pink, and storefronts advertising every related shade of fuchsia accessories, you’ll begin to process the enormity of this summer’s Barbie movie fan following.
Grossing over $214 million in the US and an estimated $800 million worldwide in box office sales, these figures don’t begin to include residual income from purchases of Barbie dolls or the full gamut of related paraphernalia.
But that’s not the only blockbuster this summer. Female concert stars such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are headlining big business, bringing in crowds and selling out stadiums.
“Tailgating” is no longer just for the big game. Now it’s a practice for fans who couldn’t get tickets to the concert inside, so they set up camp in stadium parking lots where they can still hear the music from outside. It’s not because they were unwilling to pay the exorbitant four-figure ticket prices. It’s because there weren’t enough seats in the stadium for all the fans.
If you’re noticing a pattern, it’s the female consumer taking top dollar this summer, a trend that deserves to be noted according to economist, Misty Heggeness, who’s writing a book about “Swiftynomics Women” and today’s economy.
“Anybody who has ever undervalued the female purse, coming out of this summer, they are really going to rethink their methodology,” said Heggeness.
While some say Hollywood rediscovers women’s interests every once in a while with a blockbuster film then promptly forgets, others are taking a closer look at the power of the female consumer. Venture capitalist, Monique Woodard, is one of them.
“While it’s easy to assume that fashion and beauty are the sectors where women prefer to spend their money, they’re also signing mortgages, buying homes on their own and spending on financial services and healthcare,” she said. Woodard founded a $17 million venture fund that invests in companies which focus on three groups increasing in size and in some cases, spending power: older people, people of color, and women.
Other success stories of the season are Kim Kardashian’s shapewear company, Skims, recently valued at $4 billion, and Chinese fast-fashion retailer, Shein, whose IPO in the works exceeds $60 billion in value. Women are earning more as their unemployment rate just hit an all-time low of 3.4%. Will the female dollar be the boon that our economy needs, or will it prove to be merely a summer fling? Keep reading here.