The challenge: Fickle consumers are making it difficult for retailers to find the right inventory mix for the fall and winter as the latter attempt to avoid getting stuck with even more excess inventory.
How we got here: The abrupt shift in spending toward travel and services earlier this year left retailers such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, Target, and Walmart with a glut of excess merchandise that they then had to discount or slough off to off-price retailers.
The big takeaway: It is always a challenge for retailers to have the right mix of products on hand in the critical final months of the year. But it is all the more difficult this year due to the ever-evolving shifts in consumer behavior, and inflation’s lingering impact on consumers’ discretionary spending. After getting caught flat-footed earlier this year when spending patterns abruptly changed, many are rightly taking a conservative approach this fall and winter.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.