When Will Retail Recover? The Consumer’s Voice

It was February/March of 2020 when much of the world economy came to a screeching halt due to COVID-19. Politicians deemed some retailers as “essential” and others “non-essential” leading to a $285b USD transfer of wealth from non-essential retailers to essential retailers worldwide and a $250b transfer of wealth from small retailers to larger companies. This created a massive shock to the worldwide economy with GDP levels dropping initially 30% or more worldwide.

During the initial stages, many of the world’s governments acted to prevent job losses by
guaranteeing 75-80% of the salaries of employees forced into lockdown. While at the time this
looked to be the correct approach, as the pandemic extended more than a year it became
quite clear that the future economic growth was not just about preserving jobs, but also
infusing multiple rounds of stimulus through cash to consumers. This has been the approach
in the US. While the initial mixture of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and expanded
unemployment benefits created great challenges for the economy, the three levels of fiscal
stimulus payments sit as the difference in a stronger and faster economic recovery in the US
than the rest of the world.

While the US is ready to boom 12 months post COVID, the rest of the world is 3-12 months
behind in recovery according to our recent consumer study. This study of nearly 4,600 global
consumers was conducted between March 10th to March 30th. And it is clear that there are
significant differences on the state of economies around the world based on lockdowns,
vaccine availability and stimulus from governments.

While this research was independently completed, the results are made available to you for free thanks to: