Government Shutdown Deeply Effects Retailers & Consumer Spending
The government shutdown may have a long-lasting impact on consumer behavior; Americans being made aware of the severe state of the government’s debt forces shoppers to take a good look at their own personal finances. “Consumers have been locked in a prolonged game of economic dodge ball, with one challenge after another coming right at them. The government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis are just more hurdles, and the growing uncertainty really has consumers worried about hunkering down,” explained Susan Viamari, editor of the IRI Times & Trends, which recently conducted a survey about consumer behavior.
Since the government shutdown, retailers have reported modest sales. Several retailers found that consumers are pulling back spending. This has sparked concerns for retailers about how shoppers will spend their money during the holiday season, which is the largest shopping selling period for retailers. In addition to economic concerns dampening sales, the warmer-than-usual weather hurt sales of fall sweaters and other fall clothing.
One of the main issues challenging retailers and business owners is that they don’t have the luxury of debating back and forth on how to fix a problem before they make a decision. They are forced to make quick, well thought-out decisions in order to be successful. So, while the government has been going back and forth on what to do, retailers have been dealing with making immediate decisions. Retailers are most closely tied to consumer attitudes, and consumer confidence has plummeted, deeply effecting retail sales.