Maybe you noticed this (see "Retailers Lay Out a Downbeat Outlook"*) but the big national retail chains, despite better-than-expected quarterly earnings this week, still are looking at a year of low to no growth, citing reduced spending by lower income groups, the loss of covid relief money, the effects of inflation, etcetera.
But, here is the key observation, and an important reminder:
How to reconcile this doom-and-gloom from the big national retailers with our still-strong economy, which is 70% driven by consumer spending?
After months of doom-and-gloom headlines and hand-wringing about a recession in 2023, headlines last week (quietly) said this: "What Recession? Some Economists See Chances of a Growth Rebound." One economist, in fact, seemed a little chagrined to note "So far, the U.S. economy has proved unexpectedly resilient." *
Retailers must be mindful of all this as they make their business and buying decisions throughout the year. But the macro economy is simply interesting, but not significant. Your local economy is, of course, what really matters.
In that context, every savvy owner uses these three steps.
Try as we might, it seems that there will be no avoiding a recession in 2023. How deep it is, and how prolonged, still remains to be seen.
For retailers, it's not a matter of whether your business will be impacted, just how much. Alas, retail does not lend itself to being recession proof.
However, there are ways to make your business more recession resistant.
The place to start? First, find out what your Debt-to-Worth ratio is right now. That is the #1 measure of the financial strength of your business. It's a key indicator of your ability to weather an economic downturn.
That headline from Chain Store Age* brings smiles to retailers.
Consumer confidence is a key indicator of retail sales, and this increasing confidence as we head into the holiday season is very welcome indeed.
But of course, there is no one-size-fits-all upside here.
Still less than $1 a day! 👀