A Real Economy publication

Retail and restaurant industry outlook

Mar 29, 2024

Retail and restaurant industry outlook: Key takeaways

Retail and restaurant executives should eye the coming months with cautious optimism due to some positive signals from consumers.

The resilience demonstrated by consumers, bolstered by a robust labor market, is a trend likely to endure.

growth chart

Harmonious collaboration between automation and workforce can enable scalability.

Retail and restaurants sector trend: Cautious optimism

Retailers and restaurants chart course amid economic upsurge and labor challenges in 2024

Amidst signs of economic strength and rising consumer optimism, retailers and restaurants are cautiously optimistic as they approach 2024. Despite expectations of soft demand, retail sales continue to show growth, buoyed by a surge in real income and heightened consumer sentiment. To capitalize on this optimism, executives are prioritizing expansion strategies, focusing on new store growth to enter new markets and enhance brand visibility across various sales channels.

However, as businesses pursue growth, they face significant challenges, including the high cost of capital and a tight labor market. With interest rates rising above inflation levels, executives must adopt a conservative approach to growth strategies, emphasizing accuracy and data-driven decision-making. The tight labor market, with unemployment rates at historic lows, necessitates a focus on both employee retention and productivity enhancement.

To navigate these challenges, companies are turning to unified commerce solutions, leveraging technology to provide seamless customer experiences across all sales channels. 

RSM contributors

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