Retail Roundup | March 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.

As we rounded out the last month of Q1, now two full years since the start of COVID, March 2022 brought some much needed bright spots in retail, despite rising inflation concerns. Mastercard SpendingPulse reported a return to pre-Covid levels as shoppers start to spend on airlines and lodging again as well as double-digit growth in Luxury (+27.1%), Apparel (+16.0%) and Department Store (+14.0%). Total retail sales excluding auto increased 8.4% year-over-year (YOY) and 18.0% compared to pre-pandemic spending (2019), not adjusted for inflation.

Coming off of NY FashionWeek and SXSW, other topics of interest include how fashion and retail can use the Metaverse, the growth of NFTs and how drones are being used for delivery.

Metaverse Fashion Week occurred March 24-27 in Decentraland, a digital platform where visitors' avatars can participate in runway shows, panel talks, shopping experiences, even 'after-parties'. Wallpaper has a good overview of what the event focused on and how it worked, along with some of the luxury brands touting their NFTs. Glossy reports that Grayscale Investments estimated the metaverse to be a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity and that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse.

Richard Kestenbaum writes in Forbes about what the metaverse currently means for retail, what it isn't and what it has the potential to become. Designer Rebecca Minkoff is one designer that is meshing the real world with the metaverse with her second NFT launch.

In delivery news, Amazon, FedEx and chain restaurants are experimenting with drone delivery with pilot-free delivery of products ranging from 5 lbs all the way up to 500. According to RetailBrew, Brands are looking to drones to deliver goods not only more quicker but also in a more sustainable, gas-free manner.

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