Senior retail leaders are more pessimistic about consumer confidence to spend in the face of inflation than consumers themselves indicate.
More than three-quarters (77%) of retail executives believe consumers are moderately to extremely concerned about recession, while 57% of consumers expressed the same concern in a report conducted by First Insight in partnership with WWD.
The retail executives also think consumers are cutting back more significantly than consumers say they are across multiple categories, potentially creating a more promotionally-driven —and therefore less profitable — holiday season than may be warranted.
The disconnect between retail leaders and consumers is most apparent within the apparel, footwear and accessories categories, according to the report. For example, 66% of retailers think consumers will cut back on jewelry, with only 32% of consumers in agreement.