According to Greg Petro, CEO and founder of First Insight Inc., consumers are still spending despite inflation. “Consumers are actually willing to pay more, but only on specific products, such as categories like shoes, accessories and apparel,” Petro said. Inflationary factors haven’t quite derailed the demand for apparel and shoes,” he added. But Petro did note that other categories like travel and leisure and entertainment are starting to see a decline in consumer spend, according to First Insight’s research. “The challenge now,” Petro added, “is that most companies are operating at a very high level, and don’t necessarily have a granular understanding at the consumer level as it relates to the product they sell. And ultimately, retail is about product.”
As for talk of a recession, Petro said that First Insight has found through its own research that there is a disconnect between what executive and consumers think is going on with the economy. “Around 67% of American consumers not only believe, but know, we are in a recession,” Petro noted. “This pales in comparison to sentiment across CEOs that insist we are not quite there yet. So there’s a disconnect between the decision maker and the consumer.”
Supply chain challenges, inflationary pressures and recession fears are top of mind for many industry executives. From shuffling logistic strategies, start-up struggles, and consumer insights, leading industry experts shared their insights across all facets of the business at Sourcing Journal’s Fall Summit on Tuesday. Here are the top three takeaways from yesterday’s summit.