Retailers are Recalibrating Amid Recession Concerns - BDO Consumer Beat Survey

Despite continued strong underlying economic fundamentals, including record-low employment rates, consumer spending has remained volatile in the retail sector through the first half of 2019. What’s driving consumer caution? According to data from BDO’s latest Consumer Beat Survey, the looming threat of an economic downturn, as well as increased online sales tax resulting from the landmark Wayfair vs. South Dakota ruling are among the chief concerns prompting some consumers to rethink their buying habits.

Meanwhile, with traditional retailers facing heightening competition, the pressure to innovate and reinvent customer experiences is intensifying. With many retailers struggling to stay in the black or turning their focus toward bolstering their digital capabilities, brick-and-mortar has continued to suffer. Almost half (48%) of consumers reported seeing a retail store close in the past month, and nearly one in four (24%) saw run down stores.

These challenges in a healthy economy spell trouble for retailers that aren’t acting now to recession-proof their businesses. With consumer spending already in flux, an economic downturn has the potential to send retailers that are just surviving into distress. Those that take a proactive approach to mitigating risks will be best poised to survive and thrive in the event of further industry disruption.

Check out our full Consumer Beat Survey for insights to help retailers as they navigate evolving challenges.

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