With rising inflation and federal pandemic support funds depleted, it’s no secret that consumers have to stretch their budgets this holiday season. Shoppers might also be slow to hit the malls because the are more weekend days before major holidays this year.
At Morgan Stanley’s Consumer & Retail Conference, Nordstrom CEO Erik Nordstrom, said, “There is a sense of customers holding back, and some of that is the way the calendar falls this year. We still see customers responding to newness and responding to higher-ticket items, so it’s not a price thing. … For us, it’s not at all about lower prices doing well and higher-priced items not doing well. If anything it’s the opposite.”
Macy’s CEO Adrian Mitchell believes inflation is making people reluctant to spend on discretionary items. He also said the unseasonably warm weather in late October and November may have lured people away from stores.
Mitchell mentioned another major factor in this year’s retail environment. “Think about where we were last year with supply chain constraints, tremendous demand, tremendous potential and capacity to purchase. People were buying early, and there was a prolonged holiday season last year.”
Will consumers become more willing to open their wallets at the last minute this year? With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, and many corporate layoffs making headlines, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the 2022 holiday shopping season plays out.