Ivystone CEO Doug Cofiell shares industry trends heading into the 4th quarter that will impact the disposable income of consumers shopping at local gift and home retailers in the coming months.
As we approach fourth quarter of 2022, we want to give overall update on where we see things in business as we close out the year.
Ordering & Cancellation Patterns
In terms of what Ivystone is seeing with orders cancellations, we haven't had a lot of those. There have been stories about heavy cancellations at some of the major accounts, but in general across the independent channel we've seen very few fall/holiday cancellations, outside of a few very specific vendor situations, and ordering has been pretty strong as we've gotten into the season. It dipped a little bit in the summer but now as we've gotten into fall, we see more retail activity and the orders have been fairly strong.
Economic Outlook for Q4
Economic conditions have changed quite a bit throughout the course of the year. There has been a lot more bad news out there, and in general the pessimism has permeated the broader indices, things like the stock market and across the news, so you will hear a lot of bad stories.
But it has also been a very unusual time, because normally when you hear those kinds of stories, with heavy inflation and some difficulty in the markets, then you typically don't see the level of employment we have, which is very strong, and that is usually good for the market. We've had gas prices come down a bit and now start to creep back up again, which is always something to keep an eye on, as that hurts the disposable income of the consumer that you're all counting on.
Overall the economic conditions seem to be stronger in the localities in the independent retail section than they do overall. We expect Q4 to still be pretty good for our retailers, probably better than you are hearing in general on the news, but not as well as we predicted when the year started.
As we roll into the remainder of Q4, we think that you need to concentrate on the fundamentals - making sure you have the right inventory, the right items in stock, making sure those best sellers are still brought back in, because the inventory is there from the vendors. And then be ready for that new influx of customers that's going to need their goods late in the season. Also, there might be still jammed up shipping at the end of the year so remember you're going to get that late surge.
Thank you all for your business, we appreciate all you do, and please reach out to anybody at Ivystone with questions. We are always happy to answer questions or help in any way we can.