Antony Karabus, President and CEO of Karabus Management offers these predictions for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010:
- Luxury was the hardest hit in 2008, and while we see a modest recovery in that segment, it still has a long way to go.
- Value retailers will thrive.
- Emphasis on health and wellness will represent a strong trend. Expect continuing gains in organic and healthy alternatives.
- Diversity will also play a role in redefining retail. With growing ethnic diversification, expect to see retailers catering to the needs of first and second generation immigrants.
- Sales and margins will remain under pressure. Retailers will only spend money on store design and remodelling when absolutely required.
- Grocery store sales will remain stable.
- Premium casual restaurants will continue to do well through the remainder of 2009; however, as many consumers will elect not to patronize higher end restaurants, they will likely take a hit.
"Thriving retailers are not only managing their financial operations tightly; they are offering customers clear value, differentiating themselves through service, assortment and the in-store experience," says Mr. Karabus and provides these to five strategies for retailers to emerge stronger from the recession:- Optimize cash and cost management.
- Understand what is relevant and motivates your customer.
- Use science to improve gross margins and inventory productivity.
- Invest in technology correctly and on the right projects.
- Get your supply chain right.