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Pets and kids the big losers as cost of living bites

Cost of living: Australian currency and a father and son play with a dog outside.
Aussies are spending less on toys and pet supplies as the cost of living soars. (Source: Getty)

The rising cost of living has put increased pressure on family budgets, and new research has found it’s pets and kids that are making the sacrifice.

Data from Shippit, the leading Australian logistics technology platform, revealed that Aussies were cutting back on things like toys and games, pet supplies and cosmetics.

However, purchases of electronics and outdoor activities had gone through the roof.

Data taken from approximately 10 million transactions across 3,500 Australian retailers - including Target, Myer, Cotton On and Big W - from May 1 to July 31 revealed exactly how much more Aussies were forking out on certain expenses.

Supermarkets and grocery stores had seen the biggest increase in sales - up 121.61 per cent in the three months.

This could be due to a variety of factors, including the fact that food prices had gone up, as well as surging COVID-19 cases meaning more people were buying their groceries online to avoid crowds.

Shippit CEO Rob Hango-Zada said there had been a steady increase in Aussies purchasing their groceries online.

“Over the last two-and-a-half years, we‘ve become very accustomed to purchasing groceries online, and there has been a proliferation in new retail experiences to match that demand,” Hango-Zada said.

“As COVID cases started increasing again from May to July, we’ve seen people flock to online options en masse.

“Part of this growth, however, is also down to inflation and supply shortages as huge hikes in the cost of produce have contributed to higher transaction values - we’ve all felt the pinch of more costly produce.

“As Australians look to control their discretionary spending, households will opt to instead eat more at home.”

Additionally, sport and outdoor-activity purchases rose 22.56 per cent over the same period.

Computer and electronic sales surged 14.46 per cent and automotive purchases were up 12.01 per cent.

Aussies looking to spruce up their wardrobe had also been digging into their wallets, with shoe and footwear sales up 9.94 per cent and fashion and personal-accessory sales up 5.76 per cent.

But not every family member has been treated. Our furry friends are missing out.

Sales on pet food and supplies dropped a massive 27.06 per cent in the three months from May to August.

Those in Tasmania pulled back the most from buying things for their pets, with purchases down 44.79 per cent in the state.

Households also reduced purchases on toys, games, books and gifts, with spending dropping 41.5 per cent across the country.

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