Retail Roundup | October 2022
As a retail technology company obsessed with data, we at Tillerman are constantly looking at the trends and forecasts shaping the retail industry broadly. The start of 2022 continued to bring challenges with supply chain issues, inflation and of course Omicron having an impact, but there were bright spots as well. Heres a roundup of some of the retail stories that caught our eye this month.

Holiday is on the mind of retailers everywhere heading into November, Black Friday and beyond, as the looming recession, increasing interest rates and election will likely have a big impact on retail performance as we wrap up 2022. CNBC reports that shoppers will see more deals and discounts this holiday season than the last two years, and low inventory is not as big an issue. According to the article, Bain & Co. forecasts growth of as much as 7.5% from last holiday season, but when adjusted for inflation, that is only 1% to 3%. A recent New York Times article also points to deep discounts to draw shoppers in, which can eat into a retailer's bottom line. A survey cited found that one in five holiday shoppers will spend less this season because of a changed economic situation, according to a recent survey from the NPD Group.

RetailDive reports on a recent Accenture survey of retail execs on their thoughts on inventory, marketing and more before the holidays. "Ninety-nine percent surveyed said they had increased their promotional activity and availability guarantees (98%) as part of their holiday plans. More than a third (37%) said their company is stockpiling items to ensure they have enough supply for customers, and 35% said their companies are deeply discounting or taking other measures to get rid of excess inventory."

In other news, Retailwire looks at a recent study on retail customer experience and how tech can be used to improve CX online and in-stores. Similarly, the WSJ reports on how consumers feel when they have to buy an item on back-order and how that may impact their overall impression of the brand and future interactions.

Taking a look at DTC exits, 2022 has been significantly slower than past years. RetailDive reports that in 2022 so far, there have been just under 40 major retail deals, a roughly 50% decline from 2021's year-end total. While IPOs or SPACs were popular last year, this year acquisitions have been a safer bet. DTC brands Blue Nile, 11 Honoré and Anomalie were acquired this year.

CFOBrew has an in-depth report on what might happen if there is a national railroad strike and how supply chains would be impacted. Railroads carry one-third of all exports and 40% of long-distance freight volume in the US, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). This is stemming from the news that the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division recently rejected the White House-brokered labor contract with the railroad companies over concerns about working conditions and time off.

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