The news: Despite slowing inflation and falling gas prices in August, US shoppers felt little relief as higher food bills forced many to recalibrate their spending patterns.
Households feel the strain: Compounding the difficulty for consumers is the fact that real wages aren’t rising fast enough to compensate for higher costs of living.
Some retailers thrive…: For some businesses (like grocers and certain discount retailers), higher food costs are an opportunity to win a greater share of wallet and boost foot traffic from deal-seeking shoppers.
…while others struggle: The pullback on discretionary spending has hurt many non-luxury, non-grocery retailers, with apparel and consumer electronics businesses particularly hard-hit.
The big takeaway: Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the inflation numbers, there are signs that falling gas prices are causing consumers to feel better about the economy.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.