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EMAC 2022 Annual

Consumer materialism in times of Covid-19: How does it influence consumers’ reactions and the evolution of their consumption patterns?

Published: May 24, 2022


GILLES SERE DE LANAUZE, MONTPELLIER UNIVERSITY; Jeanne Lallement, University of La Rochelle; Béatrice Siadou-Martin, University of Montpellier; Florence DE FERRAN, La Rochelle University


Consumer materialism, as an individual trait and value, encompasses several notions from other fields such as consumerism (sociology), materialism (psychology), or propensity to consume (economics). In marketing, it can be defined as the individual proneness to find satisfaction and comfort in the act of purchasing goods and services. The 2020 Covid-19 sanitary crisis led to general lockdowns in most countries, among which France, and imposed stringent constraints to the population. In an exploratory approach, this paper aims at investigating how consumer materialism influenced consumer reactions to the crisis and affected their consumption patterns and priorities. A qualitative study of 32 interviews with young adults was conducted between the two 2020 containments in France. Results show that consumer materialism is a pertinent variable to better understand consumption behaviors and suggest interesting tracks to identify the dimensions and possible explanatory role of the concept.