It’s now 2023 and it’s happening. We’ve finally hit the post-COVID sales slowdown. That slowdown looks drastically different from retailer to retailer; some I have spoken with say sales fell off a cliff last summer, while others have seen a more gradual decline — and finally, there are those who say sales are still keeping pace with the intense pandemic levels. No matter where your business falls on the spectrum, it’s safe to say that 2023 will undoubtedly look a lot different from 2022. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned going into my fifth year as a business owner, “different” isn’t always a bad thing.
“Slowdown” is a terrifying word to any business owner, but we’ve been facing some pretty scary terms over the last year, like “inflation,” “recession,” “pandemic” and so many more. In the face of it all, it can be easy to let fear creep in. But there’s lots to be positive about in our industry.
Things have slowed but haven’t dropped below 2019 levels. As an industry, most were feeling pretty good about their 2019 sales numbers, at least at the time.
Manufacturing lead times have returned to normal, which improves customer service at all levels.
More cash over the last couple of years means better reserves for businesses and the ability to make needed capital improvements.