Big Picture: A Different Day
The holiday season was further complicated by the transition in Washington, D.C. Politics aside, most aspects of the transition were unsurprising and most criticism leveled at both the outgoing and incoming administrations was unsurprising.
Most retailers have little hope that consumers’ reluctance to spend will change following the inauguration or any time soon. In fact, many retailers see little if any change and have begun reviewing and implementing their contingency plans. This in fairness has little to do with a vote of confidence on any administration. Instead, it’s a somber reflex toward what their internal numbers have already told them.
Manufacturers geared up their contingency plans in the early days of last year’s fourth quarter. Their shipments had already left the factories, new orders were sparse and they had little choice but to begin scaling back on future plans. The question facing retailers at the end of last year had more to do with the viability of their retailers and distributors first, and consumers second.