Hi, I’m Elizabeth Lafontaine, chief retail analyst here at Retail Leader Pro, and welcome to this week’s Retail Minute.
2022 is coming to a close — with only two weeks left in the year — and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on where we’ve been as an industry. As we began this past year, we knew that lack of stimulus coupled with incredibly tough comparison periods would create headwinds for consumer demand this year. Then, layered on top of that, we saw inflationary pressures across categories and high inventory levels at certain retailers. And some essential products, like formula, still weren’t in stock for consumers.
The consumer has been on a wild ride this year, and I think most are happy to see this year end, while concerned about what the future brings for the economy and their personal financial situation.
But, there are still bright spots. As I highlighted in my trend watch this week, I received a handwritten holiday card from Chewy for simply being a customer. I was floored by this kind gesture, and even as someone who works in retail, I had never felt so seen or appreciated. That, I think, is what we need more of in retail. The holiday season reminds us that the joy of shopping for consumers knows no bounds, and that feeling special as an individual consumer goes so far in creating and maintaining brand loyalty, and leaves a long lasting positive impact. Maybe we can all celebrate our shoppers a little bit more in 2023, and remember that without them, we can’t be an industry.
Last week I released our December Retail Lowdown, showcasing my predictions for 2023, which is now available on Retail Leader Pro.
From all of us here at Retail Leader Pro, happy holidays, and we will see you next week!