T’was the days before Christmas and all through the land, people were shopping…though not exactly the way the script had been written.
However the holiday shopping season of 2021 turns out in the end, chances are it will not be the way the experts predicted.
All the variables out there – the latest Covid variant, supply chain meltdowns, rising prices, early shopping…just to name a few – have created a chaotic season where the fundamental rules most certainly do not apply.
Which is why anybody predicting how business will be in the new year of 2022 (and remember, it’s pronounced 2020-too) is playing a fool’s game. There are just too many moving parts out there for anybody to reasonably forecast more than a few days – perhaps a few hours – out.
Remember when we all thought we would be back in the office by now? Wrong.
Remember when we worried that store shelves would be empty given the delays in getting goods from overseas? Wrong.
Remember when we figured that higher prices were going to scare off buying? Probably wrong.
Remember when we figured the amount of business being done this season was going to blow out anything we’ve ever seen before? Most likely wrong.
And remember when we all thought everyone would be shopping online and nobody would go to stores anymore? Absolutely wrong.
Which is not to blame the forecast…or the forecasters. We’re going through something none of us have ever seen before and have little if any history on which to base things.
So, not pointing figures here, but take any predictions about the holiday shopping season from anybody – including yours truly – with a healthy dose of skepticism. The unintended consequences are called that for a reason: we just don’t know what’s going to happen.
And for those making predictions already about Holiday 2022: get real. You don’t stand a ghost of a chance of being right.
Have a very merry happy, everyone.
Award-winning Journalist & Consultant for the retailing and home furnishings industries with extensive business media experience in both fields.