Back-To-School Selling Expected To Reach New Record - SGB Media

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9 percent, down from a post-COVID rebound of 33 percent in 2021; Department stores will ease from a 41 percent BTS growth in 2021 but will still see a 4 percent growth in 2022; Health and personal care retail stores will have an increase of 3.
5 percent in 2021; Discounters and clubs will increase by roughly 2 percent, down from 10 percent in 2021; Lagging sectors will include consumer electronics and appliance stores, down by more than 4 percent, which laps last year’s work-from-home and remote schooling trends.
“Unit demand growth may be close to flat, if not negative, as price elasticity effects curtail purchasing at the margin, especially for discretionary goods such as apparel and home furnishings,” Johnson said.
“Defying both fears of a recession and raging inflation, the solid-but-not stellar [BTS] growth signals a turning point in the post-COVID era as shopping behaviors normalize,” said Johnson.
“Inflation has long been a two-edged sword for retailers, boosting comps on the one hand but reducing shopper spending power, especially on non-essential goods,” Johnson said.

Back-To-School Selling Expected To Reach New Record - SGB Media

According to retail forecasters Customer Growth Partners, back-to-school retail sales will grow 5.5 percent in 2022 to a record $812 billion, up from $769 billion in 2021. BTS sales will slow from 2021’s 13.1 percent pace, the highest on record as schools returned to in-classroom learning last year. The traditional BTS selling season begins after July 4 and extends through Labor Day. The nominal retail growth the industry has experienced is buoyed by a near 9 percent inflation rate, which accounts for most of the 5.5 percent BTS sales growth forecast, noted Customer Growth Partners President Craig Johnson. “Unit demand growth may be close to flat, if not negative, as price elasticity effects curtail purchasing at the margin, especially for discretionary goods such as apparel and home furnishings,” Johnson said. Highlights from the company’s 2022 forecast include: Apparel and accessories will outpace all major merchandise sectors with year-over-year growth forecasted at 5.9 percent, down from a post-COVID rebound of 33 percent in 2021; Department stores will ease from a 41 percent BTS growth in 2021 but will still see a 4 percent growth in 2022; Health and personal care retail stores will have an increase of 3.5 percent, down from 8.5 percent in 2021; Discounters and clubs will increase by roughly 2 percent, down from 10 percent in 2021; Lagging sectors will include consumer electronics and appliance stores, down by more than 4 percent, which laps last year’s work-from-home and remote schooling trends. “Defying both fears of a recession and raging inflation, the solid-but-not stellar [BTS] growth signals a turning point in the post-COVID era as shopping behaviors normalize,” said Johnson. “Buffeted by crosswinds from record gasoline prices, rising inflation in food and household essentials, spiking interest rates, and COVID after-effects, households could well have been expected to trim their spending sails this BTS season. But even though we may be in a shallow recession now, the American consumer is a plucky sort, and she may weather this storm at the mall and the beach.” Forty-year high Inflation, whether from higher raw material costs, supply chain bottlenecks or record Federal spending, continues to reshape the retail landscape. “Inflation has long been a two-edged sword for retailers, boosting comps on the one hand but reducing shopper spending power, especially on non-essential goods,” Johnson said. “For consumers, the 9 percent inflation has been an unvarnished disaster, eroding real incomes since wages and salaries are up barely 5 percent, with the inflation “tax” falling most heavily on lower-income and fixed-income households.” Johnson said that consumer fundamentals, including job growth, rising incomes and healthy household balance sheets remain but are not quite strong; consequently, the risk in the company’s 5.5 percent forecast is to the downside. “The American consumer is remarkably resilient, but she is not infinitely resilient,” Johnson concluded. Photo courtesy Kirk Day School
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