NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - The dire economy appears to have made Americans less materialistic, with a poll showing most people would choose items from discount retailer Wal-Mart over luxury jeweler Tiffany’s trademark blue boxes.
A survey of 41,175 adults by Zogby Interactive found Americans were choosing to live with fewer material possessions, with two out of 10 giving away more than 10 percent of their belongings and not replacing them in the new economic climate.
Pollster John Zogby said respondents to the survey, conducted between July 2 and July 27, were asked if they would choose to buy a $500 item from Tiffany in a blue box or a similar looking item for $250 from discount retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc..
He said only 10 percent chose the Tiffany item, while 78 percent chose the Wal-Mart purchase. The others were not sure.
“People are moving toward a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle,” Zogby said in a statement.
“I call them Secular Spiritualists because they are looking for more meaning in their lives, and will seek it through family, friends, volunteering and leisure activities that fulfill their needs.”
The poll found almost a third of Americans had given away more of their belongings in the past year than they had previously, while 20 percent said they had disposed of less. The rest were not sure.
Just over a fifth of American adults have given away more than 10 percent of their belongings because they were no longer needed, and another 20 percent said they have given away nothing.
Almost two-thirds — 58 percent — said they have given away less than 10 percent of their belongings.
People with the lowest incomes were least likely to give things away and people who frequently attended church services were somewhat more likely to get rid of possessions than others.
Editing by Miral Fahmy