Retailers expect that both the U.S. and global economies will continue to recover from the recession. However, this is cautious optimism. Many were able to weather the storm and turn challenges to opportunities, but, bankruptcy remains a serious threat for many as financial institutions scrutinize investment and risk through sharper lenses. The current outlook will require retailers to make more adjustments to remain profitable.
Whether the recovery holds is key. Un-employment forecasts show only incremental improvement, and foreclosures this year are expected to exceed last year's. As a further indicator of economic instability, the 2010 tax bill extended Bush –era tax cuts by two years, expand unemployment benefits for 13 months, and reduce payroll taxes.
For both high- and low- income consumers, the value proposition will remain a staple in the consumer psyche, with focus on high-quality in conjunction with well thought- out and IT assisted purchases. Furthermore, it is expected that the rising input costs (raw materials, wages, and fuel) coupled with a price-conscious consumer, will continue to threaten margins over the immediate horizon.
In light of all this turmoil, winners are likely to be multi-channel retailers that are expanding globally and are thoughtful in merchandise innovation.
Brooks International Experience
Our approach to retail focuses on creating value for the customer, which in turn maximizes performance for the retailer. With a positive buying experience as the end product of a purchasing need, our delivery capability inherently drives performance up the supply chain to achieve target expectations.
In the spectrum of retail, our engagements have had to deal with both broad and specific client issues. Our delivery footprint has addressed traffic patterns, cashiers, shipping and receiving, customer service, purchasing, store layout, stocking efficiency, merchandising, forecasting and scheduling, call center operations, warehousing, sales effectiveness, inventory control, security, logistics, and real estate and contract negotiations.
Brooks’ client footprint includes leading retailers, distribution networks and their suppliers.