Inventory management and robust ecommerce key to second quarter retail gains – Footwear News

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As the summer progresses, unresolved pandemic shipping issues and associated inflation are two trends the footwear market is still digesting – but it’s clear that consumers are back and forth. spend quickly.

Retailers and brands that have figured out how to offset the headaches associated with international shipping and have robust online sales platforms are set to win the next earnings season, analysts said. Over the next few weeks, a series of shoe companies will release their results for the spring / summer quarter ended June 30, including Crocs and Skechers, which will release their second quarter results on Thursday. Steve Madden, Wolverine Worldwide and Deckers are in the works for next week.

If June’s strong retail sales are any indication, consumers have a new enthusiasm to spend despite rising prices for shoes and clothing. Comfort, out and back to work categories are benefiting, said Jessica Ramirez, analyst at Jane Hali & Associates, as consumers replace basics like running shoes and many prepare to return to work in person.

Comfort brand Crocs, which will report tomorrow morning, is expected to have seen another round of significant increases in revenue and bottom line.

As for inflation, coupled with demand for back-to-school shopping – which starts in earnest this month – the outlook also remains positive. Yes, shoe prices are on the rise, but consumers are showing that they now have no choice but to buy what they need. And they’re willing to buy things at full price, Ramirez said.

“If retailers learn from COVID-19 and have the right size inventory, we should see fewer promotions, which is good for them,” she said.

However, retailers can also sell out quickly. “Consumers aware of the risks of inflation [may] decide to buy back-to-school shoes and other items as soon as possible, before prices go up. This compounds the issue of out-of-stock, ”said Nikki Baird, vice president of retail innovation at Aptos, a technology solutions provider who has worked with shoe brands and retailers, such as Skechers. , New Balance and Crocs.

Baird noted that many parents are aware of stimulus checks and the early childhood tax credit, which has increased demand for back-to-school items.

Finally, companies with robust e-commerce platforms that support features like “buy online, pick up in store,” mobile shopping, and transparent, low-cost returns are expected to gain in the second quarter. Multiple consumer surveys have shown that consumers are now increasingly comfortable shopping online, in large part due to the pandemic, and it is clear that consumers plan to continue shopping online. line though they also plan to shop more in person as pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

As a result, the bar for omnichannel retailing has been set high, Ramirez noted. Retail companies are lagging behind, she said, if they haven’t strengthened their sales channels to better serve the ever-changing consumer buying habits.


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