Friday, October 5, 2012

Holiday Pulse 2012

imageIf Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? Fall is here, can the holidays be far behind? And with the holidays comes the annual rite of predicting what might the retail sales bring. After all, holidays are big business: $586.1 billion to be precise, expected in 2012. This is the number predicted by NRF after their annual ritual forecast of holiday sales, “Tempered by political and fiscal uncertainties but supported by signs of improvement in consumer confidence, holiday sales this year will increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion. NRF’s 2012 holiday forecast is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 3.5 percent.”

This view is being supported by others as well. A recent paper by Business+Strategy shows encouraging consumer sentiment compared to last year: See chart below. 

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The positive consumer sentiment is however being balanced by the great desire to find bigger, better, bargains. Consumer’s desire to throw more parties and host multiple gatherings may result into better grocery sales, though that growth may come at a cost of lost revenues at the restaurants!

So what is a retailer to do?

The answer is not much different from any other year. Driving costs down through better operational efficiencies remains the core competitive advantage through the industry and designing better supply chains and developing compelling omni-channel competencies are a good way to start! 

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Other Resources: Want to know more about supply chain processes and supply chain strategy? Check out my books on Supply Chain Management at Amazon.

© Vivek Sehgal, 2012, All Rights Reserved.

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