From The Co-Founders


Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

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Is 2022 Really That Confounding?

Embracing Uncertainty: The Essence of Retailing

"The mantra of 2022 should really be: No one knows anything," opined a business reporter.* "It’s stunning how little we understand about how the pandemic has changed our lives and our country. It’s not clear whether the U.S. economy is hot or not, or if big cities will be forever scarred." 
  • "The future of our online shopping habits is another unknown. This is not just a nerdy debate. Our collective buying behavior sways trillion-dollar companies, millions of retail jobs and the health of the U.S. economy." 

  • "The uncertainty about the direction of online shopping is one of the biggest questions facing the tech industry and financial markets right now."
Well yes, of course. The tech industry and the financial markets do prefer predictability. The uncertainties of retailing always have bedeviled them. And now, with Amazon's recent retrenching, backing off some expansion, their crystal balls have turned cloudy. 

Retailers, whether online, storefront, or DTC, certainly understand that "buying behavior is not just a nerdy debate"; it is everything to a retailer! However, given that the mantra of retailers is Plan - Monitor - Adjust - Repeat, there likely are many who would ask "How is 2022 that much different than any other year in retailing?" 

And which retailers can exhibit the most calm? Those who have done their homework, their game planning. Those who have always known that the essence of retailing is flexibility, to be quick on their feet. 

More specifically, those who have seen the financial implications – that is, inventory buying plans and cash flow results – of different scenarios. 

  • What if sales are off this much? 

  • Or expenses up this much? 

  • What would our buying plan look like then? What about our cash flow? 

Here at The ROI, we have the tools and resources for retailers to do all that for themselves; to project the financial implications of each "what if...?" scenario. But, to achieve that sense of calm, you do have to use these tools!

And now is the timeGo here for more about the 3-in-1 Integrated Calculator.

  • Remember, if you bog down while using the 3-in-1 Calculator, we will be happy to walk you through it. Just click the link in the "Still have questions?" section on the 3-in-1 Calculator access page to schedule a free video working session with us. 

There is no reason to not be prepared for whatever the rest of 2022 has in store. There is one certainty, however: there will be more flexibility tests!

* "Online Shopping Is Bananas Confusing" On Tech with Shira Ovide, New York Times, July 13, 2022. 

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