2023 Is Here – Don`t panic! Keep Your Hands On The Weel

European retailers are sticking to their plans despite the economic headwinds. Texcon members should do the same. My advice is: Keep your hands on the Wheel.

Savills, one of the world’s largest property consultancy firms, recently analysed the retail industry in Europe and found that the major players in retail are not changing their strategies. They’re expecting the economic headwinds we’re facing in 2023 to be a temporary one.

Ebb and Flow

The challenges we’re all facing boil down to interest rates, inflation, and energy prices. Norwegian economists, across the board, agree that we will feel the pinch in 2023. But the same economists can’t say for sure how bad the situation will get or how long it will last. The majority believe we will see improvements later this year. At the heart of the matter is wage growth. If wages increase more than inflation, then real wage growth will probably end up at zero. That’s actually much better than what we saw in 2022, when Norwegians ended up with 2 percent less in real terms. In spite of this decline, Texcon actually kept growing throughout 2022.

A Lot of Uncertainty

You will struggle to find an economist who will make any definite predictions for the year 2023. There are just too many uncertainties. No one knows what’s going to happen with the war in Ukraine, and no one can say what will happen with energy prices either. That’s why it’s best to not make any sudden U-turns.

How Do You Get Through Uncertain Times?

1. Focus on Customer Experience

Focus on the things you can influence. Keep improving customer experience in your store. Make sure that absolutely everyone who comes through the door is seen to. Nothing affects sales more than customer experience. Good customer experiences mean that more of the people who stop by your store end up buying something. They also end up buying more things. What’s more, customer experience affects sales in the long term: Customers will come back next time they’re out shopping. On top of that, good customer experiences

lead to more customers because satisfied customers will tell their friends and family about your store.

2. Be in Control of Your Inventory

This is key to getting through 2023. Plan your purchases well. If you do that, you can more frequently renew your range. This in turn will make your store more exciting to your customers. Texcon stores have on average both better equity and results than the industry standard. On the flip side, many Texcon members have larger inventories and a lower turnover rate than the average in the industry. There is considerable potential for improvement in this area. Being in complete control of your stock will not only reduce risk, it also contributes to better customer experiences, higher turnover and more profits.

3. Control Costs

Do you have the best and most affordable payment solution? The best phone plan deal? How about the best insurance? Or payment terminals? Texcon is constantly negotiating better deals for our members, and there is definitely money to be saved in these areas.

4. Don`t Panic!

February is always the most challenging month for store owners. A lot of products are coming in while footfall is low. Besides, the first and second quarters might be the worst quarters of the year. Here’s my advice: Don’t panic! We have been through this before. You Texconites can handle this. You can do it. Be confident in yourself. Keep up the good work and keep improving customer experience. Have faith in the strategic choices you have made and the concepts you have chosen during these last two or three years, even if times are harder than you would like them to be. Don’t falter. Don’t waver. Have faith in your store, in your concept and your products. And don’t listen to all the doom and gloom. Even though people in general have less money to spend, it’s not certain that this will apply to your customers. Remember: The best stores always survive. That’s just how it is.