By Jennifer McLogan

MELVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Pent up by COVID-19 lockdowns, a majority of Americans have indicated they will embark on a post-pandemic buying spree. Many have already started treating themselves, calling it “revenge spending.”

As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Thursday, consumers are splurging to reclaim parts of their lives taken from them during lockdown, according to researchers at the Melville marketing firm, EGC Group.

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“We saw this revenge spending early in China, when China opened up before we did,” said Nicole Penn, president of EGC Group. “Carpe diem, seize the day philosophy, with people now, it’s like ‘I missed out on so much.'”

Over the past four months, there has been an 80% increase in foot traffic to retail, restaurants, and entertainment, according to marketing company Zenreach.

COVID VACCINE

Consumers cited things they missed out on, like a trip to the spa, home improvement, or a new car.

Nimby Ramcharan upgraded to a high-end Maserati.

“It has all the bells and whistles and it’s comfortable,” Ramcharan said.

Dealers say the entire luxury car market is on fire.

“Our credit applications are up like 120%. At Rallye BMW, we had a crazy May,” dealer Hasan Barakat said.

Also, 1-800-Flowers saw an 80% surge, with the trend unlikely to reverse itself.

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Pickup and delivery at Ben’s Kosher Deli is showing no signs of receding.

Surveys say high-income young millennials are willing to go into debt for new homes and travel

“Traveling is going to be the best thing right now,” one person said.

“I would like to go to Aruba,” another person said.

“Visit my parents in India,” another said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

According to McKinsey & Company, 66% of U.S. adults plan to treat themselves to celebrate the end of COVID-19 restrictions, but experts say do not spend what you don’t have.

“Celebrating friends, families, birthdays,” one person said.

Experts say key indicators signaling whether Americans are ready to return to pre-pandemic communal life are the salad bar and movie theater.

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However, the fastest-growing snack food is ready-to-eat popcorn, at home, in front of the television screen.

Jennifer McLogan