Wed, April 24, 2024

State of GA/SC Retail

The National Retail Federation is out with its 4th annual State of Retail and the Consumer, essentially the industry trade organization’s State of the Union report.

ABD attended NRF’s March 20 Zoom event, led by Matthew Shay, President and CEO.

NRF predicts retail sales will increase between 2.5% and 3.5% in 2024. That represents an economic impact between $5.23 trillion and $5.28 trillion.


“The resiliency of consumers continues to power the American economy, and we are confident there will be moderate but steady growth through the end of the year,” Shay said. “Successful retailers offer consumers products and services when, where, and how they want to shop with prices they want to pay.”

Katherine Cullen, Vice President of industry and consumer insights at NRF, said data shows consumers aren’t afraid to splurge on self-care and special events

“At the same time, shoppers are paying close attention to their bottom line, balancing out their discretionary spending by keeping everyday purchases practical and budget-friendly,” she reported. “In fact, almost half of consumers say they are prioritizing what they need, rather than what they want.”

Shay attributed consumer confidence to several factors.

“We’ve got some of the lowest unemployment rates we’ve seen in 60 years, we’ve got a steady growing economy, although maybe moderating a bit. We see wage growth over the last year that’s outpacing the rate of inflation across all income segments. Household net worth has increased since the pandemic,” he explained.

The report breaks out online sales from the total amounts. NRF expects those sales to grow by up to 9%, or as much as $1.5 trillion. Online sales in 2023 reached $1.38 trillion.

The calculations in the report exclude auto dealers, gasoline stations, and restaurants, focusing instead on core retail.

Two days prior to the virtual event, NRF posted a companion report on its website.

A news release said retail is the largest, private sector employer in the U.S., accounting for more than one out of every four jobs. By the numbers, that is more than 4.6 million retail establishments supporting 55 million jobs providing roughly $3 trillion, or 20%, of the total national labor income.

The reports also break down the retail labor pool by state.

In Georgia, 168,600 retail establishments, employing 1.1 million jobs pumped $39.9 billion into the economy.

For South Carolina, 75,700 retail businesses Employed 535,800 jobs with a direct labor income of $18.9 billion.

The news release said, “Conducted by PwC, The Economic Contribution of the U.S. Retail Industry examines the direct, indirect, and induced contribution of the retail industry to the U.S. economy.”

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