Retail Roundup | February 2023
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.

A key factor coming out of a disappointing 2022 was how things would get started in January 2023. WSJ reported that we've started off on the right foot-hopefully this is a sign that we can clear out the excess 2022 inventory and look forward to a reset for 2023.

Retailers are starting to report 4th quarter results. Target delivered stronger than expected revenue in the 4th quarter attributed to the diverse Target product mix of beauty, food and household. They led the way while Dillard's delivered acceptable albeit underwhelming results for Q4. The retailer appears to be in a healthy financial position heading into 2023 and are confident in their ability to continue to deliver bottom line success.

On the technology side, Chatbots and AI offer big opportunities for integration into all aspects of retail operations. Retail Brew reports on the opportunities along with some challenges and speed bumps innovators will face the way. Shopify is unveiling over 100 new features to give brands more functionality and improve shopping experience. Fanatics is investing in live stream shopping, and it will be interesting to see if this will catch hold in the US and will that be another avenue for brands and retailers to drive growth and consumer engagement.

In a difficult climate, the winners will be those who take aggressive action to improve results. Benno Dorer, the interim CEO at VF, is taking a hard look at what's working and what's not. Target is ramping up efforts to compete with Amazon for next day delivery to improve and grow its on-line business. Like Nordstrom and Best Buy, they are leveraging store inventory to limit the cost of shipping small items. WWD reports that In the face of slowing demand, companies like Zalando, Amazon and Shopify are trimming their ranks, and Kohls announced a new CEO whose appointment was orchestrated by the activist investors. This could signal the beginning of the retailer returning to solid ground after a tough post-pandemic period.

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