Well, the New Year has already kicked off, but better late than never in sharing my top 10 predictions for the retail industry in 2023.
#10 – Continued fallout from the COVID crisis and continued supply chain issues will lead to further companies requiring bankruptcy protection, if not total liquidation, as we have already seen the first few shoes to drop the likes of Party City...more to come.
#9 – The strongest balance sheets will win the long race as cash remains king. Most companies will not spend serious amounts of capital until the Fed figures out where interest rates will land.
#8 – Most executives will pay themselves a hefty bonus, and then there will be a series of musical chairs being played in high-level (C-suite) moves. No one wins in that game, just one.
#7 – Supply lines finally get figured out, and if no geo-political issues occur with China this year (aka Taiwan), then product prices will come down.
#6 – Retailers finally realize that ecommerce can’t be run profitably, especially in light of returns and exchanges with same-day or even one-day delivery. They will shift their strategy to leverage stores even more.
#5 – Prices will begin to drop. Inflation eases, and if the Fed doesn’t “overdo it” on interest rates, we have a soft landing, a decent year, and we can begin to moderate planning scenarios for the future in a more normal state of affairs.
#4 – Employment starts to normalize, and wage increases slow, which helps the overall process of landing the economy in a good place in the second half of the year.
#3 – People stop watching the news, and social media, getting instant updates on everything and can focus on driving their cars more safely and getting their jobs done…wishful thinking here!
#2 – Private Equity companies become enlightened to a concept of long-term return and growth by investing in solid ideas and companies that will grow…similar to Warren Buffett’s thesis versus Venture Debt or Venture Capitalists masked as Long Term Equity Investors.
#1 - Cookies go away, people are free of the data monarchies, and companies actually have to figure out how to engage and serve their customers…authentically.
This year should be an interesting one, and I am optimistic to see how things progress as we all try to “look around some corners” and get a competitive advantage. Hope this perspective helps.