Spending to Sizzle, Not Fizzle

After all we’ve been through, it’s great to hear that, yes, there is and will continue to be an uptick in consumer spending. However, motivators and patterns won’t be the same as pre-COVID, and that’s important to consider when planning for the second half of this year as well as 2023.

According to CNBC reporting in April, “The economy has entered a period of super-charged growth, and, instead of fizzling, it could potentially remain stronger than it was during the pre-pandemic period into 2023.”

Tip: Target younger consumers. They’re already spending more and are currently more physical store-friendly than their elders.

10%…how much the Gross National Product (GDP) is expected to grow in Q2.

ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS

Here are just a few findings upon which that optimistic projection is based.

• Economists expect Q2’s gross domestic product to grow at a whopping 10%. As the report points out, there have been few quarters in the past decade when it rose even 3%.

• As for jobs, though the numbers weren’t as high as expected last month, The Labor Department reported 7.4 million openings in late February. That’s the highest level since January 2019 and 5.1% higher than pre-pandemic.

• That being said, unemployment numbers, weighing in at 6%, remain high. However, economists suggest that may drop to below the pre-COVID 3.5% number later this year.

PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE

What does all this mean for optical in general and you in particular? Here are a few trends + tips.

E-commerce and contactless shopping will continue to retain strength. Note: Virtual try-on? Online-only offerings?

Younger consumers are already spending more and they’re also more store-friendly than their elders. Note: Add sunwear + youthful collections. Play up to the under-30 market in your window.

Pop-ups are back. They’re a great way to test some of these new waters without going under, so to speak. Note: Carve out a spot, keep the display fresh, energize the staff, test different categories, and track to see what niches are worth more investment in inventory AND training.

• Speaking of training, be sure staff continues safety protocols and that you and they communicate that in person, online, over the phone, etc.

What have you done to recapture consumers? Tell us about it and share in the conversation on Facebook here.

Erinn Morgan