Winners, Losers and Holiday 2022 Predictions
Delaney Consulting aggregates shopper trends from a variety of sources to look at winners, losers and holiday predictions halfway through 2022.
For customers reeling from product shortages, there is a new concern: Rising Inflation. Taken together, these trends create new shopping patterns for the second half of 2022. As with all belt-tightening periods, customers look for ways to stretch their dollar – in the stores and at the pump. Which means:
Shoppers trade down into value channels: Great news for Aldi, Dollar Tree / General and all five brands of TJX (TJMaxx, Marshalls,HomeGoods, HomeSense, Sierra.) Shoppers are making store banner switches as well as trading down within their favorite stores.
More Private Brand purchase trials. For retailers with mid-tier or higher price lines, promoting value items to stretch shopper budgets is key. Sure, it isn’t working for everyone. (See the WSJ article on Bed Bath & Beyond’s failed foray into private brands during covid here.) But for those retailers with reliable supply chains, shoppers are willing to try new items.
One stop shopping saves $$$. When gas prices rise, shoppers cut back on shopping trips. One-stop shopping is key. Trip consolidation can mean selecting a single banner shop – at a Walmart, Meijer or Target – to parking in a single location at a strip mall or outlet center. Taken to an extreme, gas stations with convenience markets and QSRs like Caseys, Buc-ees and Loves could see increased transactions and market baskets.
Home Entertainment. Alcohol at home continues to rise. Streaming services, VR gaming and new release movies at home curtails external entertainment spending. Interestingly, TV’s have not seen the same inflationary price increases as consumables.
Experienced Retail Leaders in Supply Chain and Store Planning. Retailers are reevaluating their supply chain and their fleet of physical stores. Initiatives to overhaul supply chain visibility and operations look to cut time out of supply delays. So retailers scramble to find experienced leaders who will deliver value quickly. Meanwhile, physical stores are being asked to do more than before. They are simultaneously supposed to be engaging customer experience sites and online order fulfillment centers. That means reimagining store prototypes and fielding remodels across the chain to deliver what customers expect.
Halfway through 2022 there are ongoing covid patterns still affecting shoppers and lifestyles.
Live entertainment. Conversely, Broadway, live sports events, and movies theaters continue to struggle.
Air Travel and vacation rentals. airline travel and cruises continue to struggle. Earlier customer demand for travel is showing softness as airlines have cancelled flights and more travellers look to drive or postpone travel. Cities and zoning regulators are cracking down on vacation rentals just as demand is softening, leading to some owners taking their properties off the risky rental carosel in favor of outright selling in a hot real estate market.
Mid-tier sit down restaurants. While QSR (Quick Serve Restaurants) continue to attract value shoppers, mid-tier sit down restaurants (Fridays, Chilis, Olive Garden, etc) have not returned to pre-covid levels. Bifurcated income levels likely means that chef-driven restaurants and QSRs will continue to attract diners while mid-tier will struggle.
Cryptocurrencies. Even the most forward-looking luxury retailers are de-prioritizing cryptocurrency transaction support. With the recent devaluation of crypto’s, retailers are reprioritizing customer service, pricing and supply chain initiatives to meet shopper expectations.
Holiday 2022 Predictions
Many retailers have put their holiday plans to bed halfway through 2022. But most can still accommodate changes. Here are trends to keep in mind:
The Year of the Outlet Mall? Will the trend toward budget-shopping combined with one-stop shopping mean that shoppers will find a renewed attraction to outlet centers? Offering name brands in a lower cost environment could mean that holiday 2022 will be good to outlet centers.
In stock >Assortment. Online and offline shoppers want immediate fulfillment. In the past a hot price = an online order. But shoppers got burned and they will be more aware of shipping dates as well as the price value equation. Store shelves need to appear full to gain confidence from brick and mortar shoppers.
Experiences. Adults continue to say they prefer experiences rather than commodities during gift giving occasions. Customized gifts like hard bound photo albums, DNA kits, wellness sessions are going to continue to grow. Children will continue to demand “presents.”
Memberships and Subscription services. If retailers can deliver bonafide advantages, there is still opportunity in memberships and subscriptions. Free shipping or price discounts can be hard to defend. So building exclusive events and offers will drive more retention as the competition heats up. Exclusivity is key to combatting D2C brands.