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Retail Industry Updates

Retailers Need to Make Sure Their Employees Are Ready for a Wave of Spending

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(iStock/creisinger)

With 2021 gross domestic product growth projected to surge to levels not seen in several decades, a computer software company that specializes in providing online assessments is urging employers to ensure their people have the skills and capacity to ride the wave of recovery, especially those employees who are returning to work after being laid off or furloughed because of the pandemic.

Noting a report from the Federal Reserve stating that U.S. economic growth could reach a whopping 10% in the first quarter, Trumbull, Conn.-based Questionmark said retailers need to be ready for consumers to spend the economic stimulus payments they’re receiving along with $4 trillion of collective savings that could be released into the economy as social distancing regulations ease.

Citing a survey from market researcher Harris Insights and Analytics, Questionmark noted that consumers will probably spend on travel and experiences such as concerts and sporting events. But the company noted that economists also predict that malls across the country will benefit from an influx of “revenge spending.” This is when consumers enthusiastically part with their cash to compensate for the purchases and experiences they have been forced to forgo, according to Questionmark.

“Consumers have cash in their pockets and after a year of enforced restraint, they are determined to spend it,” said Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark. “While spending will initially be focused on certain industries, it will quickly have a knock-on effect across the economy.”

Pedersen said employers must ensure that workers have the skills to cope with increased demand. This will include:

• Checking that returning staff, who have been out of work, still have the skills to do their job.

• Ensuring that the workforce can operate new technologies that have become popular with consumers during the pandemic, such as contactless payments.

• Ensuring that any temporary staff needed to bolster capacity have the skills to hit the ground running.

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