Uncertainty surrounds expectations for Memorial Day sales across retail and eCommerce
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Faced with driving inflation and continued uncertainty along the international supply-chain, retailers and etailers are aligned in their uncertainty over how beneficial Memorial Day sales will be in filling their cash coffers.
It was only last month that Salesforce reported a year-over-year decline in global digital sales for Q1 2022 as recorded by its Shopping Index, the first-ever decline in the nine-year history of the index.
And things really haven’t improved since then.
Companies who thought they were experiencing the height of supply-chain delays and cost spikes last year have been in for a rude awakening this year.
“According to research firm Resilinc, shipping one container from China to the West Coast now costs roughly twice as much as it did a year earlier and 344 ships were stuck at the Shanghai port, a 34% increase over March,” a May fortune.com article states.
As Europe often serves as a leading indicator of what’s to come in North America, the reports are grim.
According to a European Chamber of Commerce report release in May, “More than a quarter of European businesses report headcount decreases because of China’s COVID-19 policy, with this happening most in the education (80%), legal (46%), retail (43%) and cosmetics (40%) industries. 60% of respondents have decreased their 2022 revenue forecasts.”
So what’s in store for North America as we head into Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Cyber Week? No one really knows!
Caila Schwartz, director of consumer insights and strategy, retail and consumer goods at Salesforce, said she's bearish on what the high eCommerce and retail sales season will bring.
"I’m a bit pessimistic on the market right now," she said. "With gas up exponentially, so much wealth lost in stock market recently, no real sign of inflation slowing down ... I think it will be a struggle for retail. The travel industry could do very well if people are willing to stomach the costs."
Eli Weiss, senior director of CX & retention for Jones Road Beauty, said he expects spending to persist despite economic worries.
But one thing everyone can agree on is that supply-chain issues will continue to have an impact on merchants, large and small.