2023…Could be a (or not so) Great Year ….?

My Customers will, soon, start asking me the perennial question…How do you think the new year will be? I am very succinct and precise. It could be good or bad. That’s it in a nutshell.

There is a footnote to this response that is not always obvious as depending who the customer is, I do not include this is in my ‘six word ‘ financial forecasts.

I am very clear in my own head ( as if anyone is any doubt ??)

  • I am not a financial analyst
  • I am not a retail analyst
  • I am not a market analyst
  • I am not an analyst

But I am frequently asked this question at the beginning of the year by customers, colleagues, Julia , A few friends ( very few that confined, in that I only have a few , very few. To extend my audience I have asked Aristotle ( our dog) and his canine response is I am only interested in three things

  • Walking (currently it is -5 degrees but that doesn’t bother him )
  • Food
  • A massage

As long as my face and the sound of my voice assures him, that is the only interest he has in the coming year.

Stormy Monday Blues – T bone Walker -Lately Eric Clapton

There is undoubtedly a number of gloomy indicators out there , especially for the first three months.

Cost of energy,

continuing Ukraine crisis,

inflation,

interest rates ,

consumer confidence,

industrial unrest,

and a lot of uncertainty within the World at large.

Good day Sunshine -The Beatles

So what’s good about 2023

  • Inflation appears to be peaking and below what was forecasted
  • Interest rates whilst still rising are predicted to be well below original forecasts
  • Sterling has recovered some of its losses
  • Covid does not present the same barrier it has for the last 2 years
  • Fixed mortgage rates have reduced a little
  • The survey of 138 companies, including 50 retailers, found that a net balance of 11 per cent of businesses said sales grew, up from -19 per cent in November (CBI)
  • A Coronation (at least for the Party Sector in the U.K. )
  • Retail landlords are starting to become a little more realistic

This does not detract from it being potentially being very tough, but it should be put it into some of perspective. The total retail sales within the U.K. in 2021 were £421 billion . There were approximately 316,000 retail outlets. If retail sales fall by 3% that equals £12 billion . However, if we look it another way a consumer who had £100 in their pocket to spend freely may only have £97. If you extrapolate that further and look at the total U.K. spend on party (of which it is really difficult to find a true figure) even if was half of 1% of total retail spend which would be a gross over estimate , we are looking at targeting less than 50p of the consumer spend .

There will be many (gross exaggeration) readers who will say don’t be bloody stupid ….that’s only £30 million total party market. It is quite clearly many times that, but the principal is the same . Within our market place our target audience is a very small proportion of their overall disposable income. They will look to have a good time, which is why Glastonbury 2023 sold out in minutes despite the ticket price being £300 (220,000 x£300=£66 million pounds =One Event)

It is down to the entire chain no matter what market, to be creative, pro-active, positive, supportive and all aim for very slightly bigger slice of that £421 billion . The proverbial tills wont ring themselves .

Just to illustrate my analytical skills and give you all lot more confidence in what I write : In March 2020 my analysis of Covid was that it was a very bad cold and would be all over by September.

Twixt the optimist and pessimist
The difference is droll:
The optimist sees the doughnut
But the pessimist sees the hole.

McLandburgh Wilson b. 1892 author

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