“Desperation in the Air” as the Great Retail Destocking Picks Up Steam

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The retail industry’s inventory glut has metastasized into a significant drag on the US economy, depressing economic growth by nearly 2 percent in the second quarter, according to a recent Federal Reserve report.

Warehouses across the country are bursting at the seams with excess merchandise, a record $732 billion worth, according to the Census Bureau.

That’s a staggering increase over last year of 21 percent and represents more than 10% of all US retail sales in 2021 ($6.6 trillion). 

Add to this crushing burden another, less obvious pileup of goods in the form of returns, simultaneous with the growing popularity of the circular economy and luxury resale, and you have the makings of a massive pre-holiday markdown.

The Great Retail Destocking has begun. 


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