Expect the Unexpected

Retail challenges are looming for 2022.
Jane Neal

April 15, 2022

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The last two years have seen many challenges within the retail environment – accompanied by shift-ing consumer shopping preferences. Starting in 2020, the effects of COVID-19 seemed astronomical as lockdowns and work/stay-at-home behaviors brought in-store traffic to an unprecedented trickle. Manufacturers and marketers saw dramatic changes in what people were purchasing – or not purchasing. As dressy apparel, dining out, travel and leisure took a nosedive, consumer spending turned to home décor, home entertainment and outdoor recreation. Just as vaccines were launched, a new variant emerged sending people into another tailspin.

COVID-19 led to workforce chal-lenges as people left jobs or simply opted not to return to jobs they’d had previously. Supply chain issues started making headlines in 2021 and continue to cause consternation. Then last Decem-ber, inf lation hit a 39-year high (Source: USA Today). Despite all of this, in January, the retail sector was feeling optimistic heading into 2022.

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