Welcome to The Backroom, a window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Spotify.
In 2022, many in the retail industry allowed themselves a degree of optimism not possible during the height of the pandemic. The macroeconomic backdrop turned sunny after 2021's clouds of uncertainty. The federal government’s support of consumers bulked up savings that lasted into the new year, and vaccines against COVID-19 spurred demand for clothing as people returned to in-person work, fun — and shopping. Holiday sales in 2021 were robust, and many chains did brisk business into the first quarter.
But inflation spikes also seen in 2021 have continued into the year, squeezing household budgets and undermining discretionary spending. While healthy employment and wage growth have mitigated that somewhat, retailers now cater to a very practical consumer who is careful about spending, seeking out good prices and tossing loyalty out the window if it means a good deal.
In this episode of The Backroom, we take a look at what this all means for the holiday selling season. It’s worth noting that retailers are also grappling with higher costs, ongoing snafus in their supply chains and other challenges, which reporters and editors from Retail Dive, Marketing Dive, Supply Chain Dive and Payments Dive will delve into during our Oct. 6 webinar, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” so be sure to sign up!
- Rising prices have made shoppers choosey, budget-minded and less loyal — but they’re still spending
- Amazon, Target kick off holiday sales early
- Shoppers await price hikes, seek discounts ahead of the holidays: survey
Editor’s note: This show was produced and edited by Caroline Jansen.