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NPD Data Reflects a Healthy Retail Sector

retail sector is showing healthy growth

THE DAILY SCOPE, 12/7/21: In the wake of a muted Black Friday event that saw the first-ever year-over-year decrease in sales, there was an influx of understandable anxiety across the retail space. However, data released yesterday from NPD paints quite a positive picture for the retail sector in 2021. At the start of December, U.S. sales revenue for general merchandise in 2021 has already reached 100% of peak sales in 2019 and 98% of peak sales in 2020. For the week of Thanksgiving, which is typically the start of holiday shopping around the nation, sales increased by 14% from 2020 but were still 5% below the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. The key takeaway from all of this data is that the state of retail is healthy in 2021 and has shown a resurgence from the struggles of 2020, even in the face of lingering effects of the pandemic and global supply chain issues.

In other news, Nationwide Marketing Group has announced that it will continue to focus on the Shopper Decision Journey at its upcoming Winter PrimeTime event, which is set to be held on February 5-8, 2022 in Phoenix. The event will feature an in-depth analysis of the Shopper Decision Journey, which aims at helping independent retailers cut through the distractions of e-commerce to win consumer business. The event will also feature a plethora of buying, educating, and networking opportunities ranging from a 90-minute PrimeTime Palooza shopping frenzy with insane deals, to more than 100 hours of educational material from the Nationwide Learning Academy. Members looking to register should visit https://www.nationwideprimetime.com/.

Recently, we have touched extensively on brand utility in harnessing the power of influencers to reach Gen Z consumers. A study conducted by IBM reported that among the younger demographic within Gen Z, only 36% report having a strong connection to a brand, but within the older segment (ages 20+), that number jumps to 46%. Therefore, brands would do well to act now to make an imprint on this future consumer base. However, the influencer community is not immune to the racial pay gaps that are commonplace throughout our workforce; in fact, if anything, it is more susceptible as influencers make a livelihood on reflecting public opinion.

A new study published by MSL U.S. found that the pay gap between white influencers and influencers who are Black, Indigenous, or other people of color is 29 percent. Much of the influencer industry relies on endorsements to make money with Black respondents reporting that they receive marketing offers that are below market value for the number of people they reach. This pay gap in the influencer community vastly outpaces those across other sectors of the economy. For comparison, the pay gap is 8% in education, 16% in business and finance, 19% in construction, and 16% in entertainment. In response to this shocking pay gap, MSL U.S, an influential PR firm, is implementing a call to action for BIPOC influencers to self-identify with the hashtag #diversecreator. The goal in this campaign is to increase industry-wide discoverability and create an opportunity for brands and agencies to widen the pool of BIPOC influencer talent.

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