MOUNTAINS OF INVENTORY CREATE A SLIPPERY SLOPE FOR RETAILERS
Nearly every retailer was blinded by the blizzard of change kicked off during the pandemic. It started out innocently enough. For many of us, online shopping became a welcome interruption from the doldrums of lockdown. And when packages arrived, the delivery reminded us we were still connected to something beyond the confines of our homes.
Online merchants, many offering free returns, eagerly filled our orders — including bracketed purchases. But no one seemed to care. E-commerce was setting new records and shoppers were thrilled to turn their bedrooms into virtual dressing rooms. Working from home fueled sales for household-related goods like leisurewear, home décor, small appliances, toys, gardening items, and consumables. It all seemed like a win-win.
Then came the first few flakes of the blizzard — in the shape of random supply chain issues. Retailers, particularly those with a physical presence, saw aisles and aisles of empty shelves. And online merchants feared the inability to fill orders. Seeing the storm forming ahead, retailers quickly increased order size and frequency to avoid out-of-stocks.
Read the full story to learn how:
- Inflation impacted shopper behaviors
- Retailers ended up with massive inventories
- Excess inventories created new challenges for selling into secondary markets
- Repairs and refurbished goods are increasing sustainability
- Current trends will impact reverse logistics