Retail Roundup | July 2022
As a retail technology company obsessed with data, we at Tillerman are constantly looking at the trends and forecasts shaping the retail industry broadly. The start of 2022 continued to bring challenges with supply chain issues, inflation and of course Omicron having an impact, but there were bright spots as well. Heres a roundup of some of the retail stories that caught our eye this month.

It's the dog days of summer and with it comes a mixed bag of retail news from July. Looking ahead, retailers are focused on back to school and getting a jump start on the holiday season. In June, retail sales were higher than expected at 1% despite rising prices, however not adjusted for the rising inflation. Amazon's mid-month Prime Day sales were their largest ever, with more than 300 million items purchased worldwide, up from 250 million items sold last year.

Here's a look at some of the other retail news from July that may be shaping the rest of the year.

Modern Retail reports that many retailers are making adjustments to their return policies as too much inventory has eaten into profits and caused them to put more goods into liquidation. Policies range from shortening the return window to charging a fee to restock. The article also discusses tactics to stop the reasons for returns in the first place, like poor sizing and how some brands have turned to AR and 3d modeling to ensure a better fit.

The Wall Street Journal reports on how many large retailers are getting hit with too much inventory due to overstocking to compensate for supply chain issues. But the issue is bigger for large retailers than other retailers, as experts say inventories for most retailers are lean compared to the past. The article reports: Nikki Baird, vice president of strategy at retail software firm Aptos LLC, said she has seen clients place larger orders than necessary as a way of planning for the worst-case scenario, part of the shift from "just-in-time" inventory management to a "just-in-case" strategy.

An NRF survey found that 38% of consumers plan to cut their spend to save more for back-to-school expenses this year. As reported in Retail Customer Experience, total back-to-school spending is expected to match 2021's record high of $37 billion and shoppers are expected to spend $168 on average. As of early July, more than half (56%) of shoppers had started shopping for school and college supplies, according to the release.

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