“Furniture and mattresses will continue to develop,” added Hasper. “These companies have been affected by supply chain issues. As these resolve, furniture and mattresses, as well as the wellness industry, grows. People see the need for better sleep. People spend more on mattresses and furniture as they spend more time at home. That could change over time. If the return to work takes place, many businesses in the clothing industry open up. It really depends on the pandemic. “
Technology: Increased investments in personalization, augmented reality for better product visualization, sales and communication tools for sellers, live streaming, cybersecurity and privacy protection to fight growing online fraud .
Amenities: Investments in faster deliveries, refinement of online shopping, in-store pick-up and supply of buy-it-now, subsequent payment, which could spread to other industries such as cosmetic dentistry and plastic surgery, but made the ‘subject to stricter regulatory scrutiny due to fears that consumers are taking on too much debt through BNPL.
Inventories: Deliveries arrive closer to the need; markdowns are more common in the first half, the second half sees a bigger full-price sale in the middle of another extended holiday selling season; larger and more eclectic assortments are growing through the adoption of online market formats.
Commodity trends: Casual sportswear and athletic shoes stay strong; work clothes picks up; great opportunities seen in pet clothing and gear; health and wellbeing.
Reengineering: Retailers are considering the potential fallout from divisions and dot-coms aimed at creating shareholder value: Macy’s, Kohl’s and Nordstrom are weighing the possibilities.
Headwinds: Consumer spending could shift towards more experiences and less things; inflation was the highest in almost four decades; labor costs continue to rise; anniversary of the 2021 COVID-19 stimulus checks; theft to the suburbs and, of course, COVID-19 with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.