According to a recent retail spending report, consumers are not particularly assertive when it comes to discretionary retail purchasing in 2023. While spending in general remains consistent with last year’s numbers, where the money is going varies from what our industry has experienced since the pandemic.
The growth in retail consumer spending thus far in 2023 is in areas you might expect as a consumer yourself. Increased spending is online, not in stores, and is focused on health care, personal care, groceries, sporting goods, and general merchandise. Discretionary purchase categories have not fared so well. They include furniture/home furnishings, building materials/gardening supplies, electronics/appliances, and clothing/accessories.
Despite all this, there are still some good signs. Unemployment remains low even with the more recent high-profile layoff announcements from major corporations and equally disturbing bank failures. Inflation continues to soften so all this seems to point to a mixed bag. Truth is, no one really knows what the near-term future will hold.
Uncertainty in business is a chronic, uncomfortable reality every jeweler is facing this year. If you are one of those who is uncertain about your own next steps in retail, especially if you are at or nearing retirement, please give us a call. At The Gordon Company, we are in the business of keeping jewelers in business and helping them leave with money in their pocket if now is the time to exit.
Jeff Gordon, CEO