New York and Pittsburgh – A new study reveals that senior retail leaders think consumers are cutting back more significantly than they really are. The Inflation Disconnect report, conducted by First Insight in partnership with WWD, reveals that 77% of retail executives believe consumers are moderately to extremely concerned about recession, while only 57% of consumers expressed the same concern.
When it comes to home furnishings, 40% of retail executives believe that consumers are cutting back on home décor and furniture, when only 22% of consumers are spending less on their homes.
The disconnect is even great in the apparel, footwear, and accessories categories. While 66% of retailers think that consumers will cut back on jewelry, only 32% of consumers are doing so. Results are similar for handbags (57% of retailers expect reduced spending on the category vs. 29% of consumers) and dressy apparel (45% of retailers expect cuts vs. 20% of consumers.)
“The retail executives’ perspectives demonstrate a risk-averse approach leading to a suboptimal outcome. In this case, I hope they are not getting their ‘head over their skis’ in anticipating a situation which may never transpire,” said First Insight CEO Greg Petro.
Other findings from the survey: