- "Consumer confidence rose sharply for a second straight month, hitting the highest level since the pandemic began," according to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index.
- "Economists believe that the rising consumer confidence will bolster overall economic growth as consumers, who account for 70% of economic activity, step up their spending as lockdown restrictions are eased." *
This is welcome news for many retailers, as consumer confidence has been a key leading indicator of retail sales.
However, a note of caution: retail sales are not the sole component of consumer spending.
- "As more businesses and cities reopen, consumers will have even more places to spend the savings they've accumulated during the pandemic." **
- Visiting family and friends
- Enjoying sit-down dining at restaurants
- Attending sporting events, theaters, museums, concerts
- Perhaps sending their kids to summer camps.
Engaging with other people however one can is an exciting prospect for many. And each of those long-deferred activities mean retailers have more competition than ever for consumer attention and share of wallet.
But here is the key thing to keep in mind: there are wide-eyed shoppers out there, who have been looking at merchandise only on small screens for months and months.
What a great opportunity for you! Your stores, your assortments and presentation can make these shoppers feel like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.
How many ways can you engage with them, and impress and "Wow!" and surprise and delight them?
The fun could be coming back! But to be sure that your stores are part of it all, remember that you have unprecedented competition. Not just from other retailers. But from all of the attractions of that "New Normal."
Go get 'em!!
* US Consumer Confidence Returns to Pre-Pandemic Levels. Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press Economics Writer, April 27, 2021.
** Consumer Confidence in U.S. Climbed in April to Pandemic High. Payne Lubbers, Bloomberg.com, April 27, 2021.