Last month, Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, applauded the passage of the second stimulus bill, citing the benefit to consumers and to the retail industry that employs millions of them. Now, as Americans begin to receive their stimulus checks, the question arises: how much will retailers really gain from the payments?
Coresight Research released a report on how Americans used their first stimulus checks, and the results weren't terribly cheering for retailers who sell more discretionary items. For the most part, consumers used the money on bills and necessities. But Matt Priest, president and CEO of Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, is confident that at least some consumers will turn to discretionary spending after their financial obligations and basic necessities are met.
The industry leader told FN last week, “Any time you inject more cash into the American economy — these kinds of direct payments have been shown to improve economic activity, [particularly] in the short term,” Priest said, drawing a comparison to impact of annual tax refunds.