Survey: Weekends Not Much Fun

Jun 6, 2005  •  Post A Comment

By Bradley Johnson

Advertising Age

Want to know how your consumers are feeling after the weekend? Well, if you’re tracking young adults, bear in mind that they’re exhausted on Monday mornings and depressed to be back at work. But if you’re targeting 50-somethings, they’re likely to be more receptive: On Mondays, they’re re-energized and ready to get back to business.

Or so concludes the Great American Weekend survey commissioned by Life, the Time Inc. newspaper supplement.

The March phone survey of 1,000 adults shows just how jammed weekends have become with shopping, chores and family activities. More than half of adults surveyed-55 percent-spend more weekend time doing what they have to do than what they want to do.

“The ideal weekend is not out of reach, not on the verge of extinction, but it’s definitely endangered,” Life President Andy Blau said.

Almost half (47 percent) do half or more of their grocery shopping on weekends. Discount chains such as Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target ranked as favorite weekend shopping destinations. But as household income increased, consumers were less likely to list that type of store as a favorite-and more likely to shop at membership warehouse stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club.

Yet parts of the survey would make Norman Rockwell proud. Most adults-married or single, with or without children, city or rural, red state or blue-stressed the importance of family time on weekends.

In households with children, family dinner at home ranked No. 1 among activities families had done together on recent weekends, especially if the family included a stay-at-home parent, was Caucasian or lived in a rural area. Relaxing with family and spending time with a spouse or partner were clear favorites, chosen as the most important activities in their ideal weekend. In actual weekend activities, watching TV tied for second place with exercising, even though few listed TV-watching in their scheme for an ideal weekend.

While most (51 percent) said they finish their weekends recharged, with 61 percent ready to get back to work, it was most true for adults 55 and older. Adults 18 to 24 end their frenzied weekends exhausted (51 percent) rather than recharged (39 percent). Among young adults, 51 percent are ready to get back to work-but 41 percent are depressed about Monday.

TGIM? Not.