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Accenture's most recent global survey of cross-industry consumer sentiment shows that though a clear majority (55 percent) expect their financial situation to improve within the next year, 67 percent also believe it could take up to three years before they are confident enough to spend freely again. Until then, most plan to shop economy stores, avoid premium-priced products, postpone the purchase of bigticket items, eat out less and wait for a sale rather than buy at the full retail price. For the industry's high performers, however, uncertain times are also exciting times. In fact, these leading companies almost relish the prospect of recession. That's because they know that downturns offer an opportunity to seize market share from weaker competitors and strengthen their competitive position.
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