Retailers don’t need to be rocket scientists to navigate this year’s final quarter. In the face of inflation and an uncertain economy, food and drug retailers can rely on many of the same merchandising and marketing strategies that succeeded in the past year or two — which include remaining sharp on price.
That’s as good a formula as any to navigate a holiday period in which consumers are still tentative about spending and uncertain about the future.
Mixed Economic Outlook
The forecasts from economic experts are mixed. U.S. economic growth has slowed, but the outlooks for inflation and recession still aren’t clear. Consumer spending levels at retail will be crucial to monitor, National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a September economic review. “All eyes remain on the consumer, and what is happening in retail is very important,” he said.
[Read more: Reenergizing e-commerce strategies]
Retailers have succeeded with virtual programming for families during the pandemic, and this approach holds a lot of promise in the fourth quarter. A thoughtful example comes from The Giant Co., whose team of dietitians is offering a series of free live virtual classes. Giant’s programming includes events on hunger action awareness, kids in the kitchen and family meals consumers can create in less than 30 minutes. Kids in the kitchen presents Disney-themed classes with dishes that include Winnie the Pooh’s pasta salad and Rapunzel’s frying pan cookie.