Episode 17: Retail Predictions for 2021

Announcer: Welcome to this episode of “60-second Retail” - a BDO podcast keeping you in-the-know on events and trends in retail and consumer products industry impacting your bottom line, in just a few short minutes.

Natalie: Hello, my name is Natalie Kotlyar. I am the National Leader of the Retail and Consumer Products industry group at BDO USA.  In this episode we are going to discuss a few retail predictions for the year to come.

2020 was a year of uncertainty, but with proper planning, 2021 does not need to follow suit.
For this episode, we’re looking into our crystal ball to give you 3 retail industry predictions for 2021.

First, none of us know how long the pandemic will last, but we can foresee the potential of another lockdown. In which case, retailers need to be equipped to survive the shutdown.  Having done it once, retailers should be prepared to act on a few fronts:

First, retailers now know to first turn their attention to the health and wellbeing of their employees and customers.

Retailers may once again need to scrutinize their store count, ramp up their e-commerce platforms, and lean into their omnichannel plans with BOPIS and curbside pickup.

For those who cannot fiscally justify in-store operations, they may need to consider permanently going virtual.

Second, the first quarter of 2021 months may see an uptick in bankruptcy filings for retailers who had a less than stellar holiday season. While 2020 was initially slated to be on pace with 2010’s record-level bankruptcies and store closures following the Great Recession, many retailers held off hopeful for a strong back-to-school and holiday season.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers not offsetting this year’s weak earnings, retailers whose sales fell short may find themselves ready to declare Chapter 11 in hopes of restructuring or getting acquired.

Otherwise, the lights may be shut off for good.

Lastly, consumers have shifted more towards real-time purchasing.  This means, retailers must prepare for more changes across consumer buying patterns, forcing retailers to question the seasonality of their products, and rethink supply altogether.

Retail is a rapidly changing environment - constantly keeping retailers on their toes. We’re excited to see how 2021 plays out and what’s in store, and online, for retailers.  

Announcer: And that concludes this episode of BDO’s “60-second Retail” podcast.  Don’t forget to tune in for the next episode!  To find more information on our hosts, guests, BDO’s services, or listen to previous episodes of “60-second Retail”, please visit www.bdo.com/60-second-retail.



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