Construction + Economy, Lighting Industry

NRF’s State Of Retail & The Consumer

The National Retail Federation (NRF) released it’s annual State of Retail & the Consumer forecast. Here are the highlights:

  • The retail sector is expected to grow 4-6% in 2023, to $5.13-$5.23 Trillion. 2022 saw 7% growth over 2021. 2023’s forecast is higher than pre-pandemic growth of 3.6%
  • E-commerce sales expected to rise 10-12% in 2023, to $1.41-$1.43 Trillion.
  • E-commerce has shifted from a stand-alone sales phenomenon to being one part of consumers’ shopping experiences. Much of e-com’s growth is driven by multichannel sales, where the physical store still plays an important component in the fulfillment process. As the role of brick-and-mortar stores has evolved in recent years, they remain the primary point of purchase for consumers, accounting for approximately 70% of total retail sales.
  • Consumers want retailers to offer in-store and online shopping and provide a seamless experience, meaning they can buy online and return in-store and vice versa.
    • 56% of adults prefer to shop both online and in-store
    • 88% say it’s important for a business to have in-store and online purchase options
    • 24% are less likely to purchase online from a business that doesn’t also have a storefront
  • NRF projects the nation’s full-year GDP will grow around 1%, which is slower than 2022’s 2.2% increase in GDP.
  • NRF expects inflation to continue to decline but likely remain between 3 and 3.5% for all goods and services this year.
  • The unemployment rate is likely to exceed 4%” before the start of 2024.
  • Consumer spending is looking “quite good” so far this year, and the NRF expects consumers to keep spending.
  • By type of store, year-over-year sales from February 2022 to February 2023 show:
    • Health and personal care stores: +8%
    • Clothing and clothing accessory stores: +4.1%
    • Sporting goods stores: +3.4%
    • Building materials and garden supply stores: +0.7%
    • Furniture and home furnishings stores: +0.4%
    • Electronics and appliance stores: -2.2%
  • NRF’s calculation of retail sales focuses exclusively on core retail sales and outlets and excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants. (But restaurants are also expected to have a banner year, with the National Restaurant Association projectinga sales increase of 6.4% to $997 billion in 2023.)

The full NRF forecast can be found here.

Image: NRF

Top Image: Pexels.com

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David Shiller
David Shiller is the Publisher of LightNOW, and President of Lighting Solution Development, a North American consulting firm providing business development services to advanced lighting manufacturers. The ALA awarded David the Pillar of the Industry Award. David has co-chaired ALA’s Engineering Committee since 2010. David established MaxLite’s OEM component sales into a multi-million dollar division. He invented GU24 lamps while leading ENERGY STAR lighting programs for the US EPA. David has been published in leading lighting publications, including LD+A, enLIGHTenment Magazine, LEDs Magazine, and more.

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