The big question now is how do we end this retail slump that has created the gloomiest retail projection in decades. Is there any good news in the future?
Don’t despair. Despite the grim atmosphere, some analysts say the outlook for electronics in 2009 is much better than for other retail sectors.
It’s true that many analysts generally think that retail sales will decline through 2009, losing out to categories like apparel and luxury goods, and consumers say they plan to spend less. Stores are keeping their inventories and orders low; and what inventory they are getting is going on sale as soon as it hits the floor. In addition, credit is tightening on both businesses and on consumers.
Still, the Consumer Electronics Association expects sales of televisions and audio equipment to be 4.7 percent higher over last year’s figures. One industry insider said he believes that some consumers will respond to the economic downturn by buying electronics instead of dining out or attending a sporting event or concert. The recession is driving a nesting phenomenon, but the concern for retailers is that customers will hunker down with the products they already own. There’s money to be made, but your game has to be on.
Yes, this year’s trading environment is drastically different. In the past, marketers have gone back to doing more of the same. It’s a different story today. SmartReply has been instrumental in helping its retail clients get through this critical time, by looking at more meaningful and respectful ways to reach consumers.
For the first time in many years, small business owners and large corporations are facing the same challenge. Less money to go around plus less sales equals little profit. How long this rocky ride will last is anyone’s guess, but retailers shouldn’t be waiting around for more bad news.