Consumer, Retail, E-Commerce

2023 Q2

The DIW economic barometer shows a value of 89.5 points for the second quarter of 2023. Significantly lower than expected. The more pessimistic prospects for a rapid recovery in the German economy pose new challenges for the consumer goods, retail and e-commerce sectors.

The still lacking recovery in demand is often affecting stationary retailers, which, after a difficult Corona phase, have often tried to master the recent delivery bottlenecks by placing additional orders. The now well-stocked warehouses mean a high level of capital commitment, which cannot be financed by the hoped-for sales. Some of the well-noticed insolvencies of larger fashion and shoe retailers (e.g. Peek&Cloppenburg Düsseldorf) can therefore be attributed in particular to short-term liquidity problems. This in turn also affects the manufacturers (e.g. Ahlers AG or Gerry Weber), who now have to cope with a sharp drop in orders.

Flexibility and adaptability are key in this situation. However, such strong market swings also require a healthy economic buffer in order to increase the resilience of companies. Innovations and differentiated product positioning can help to stand out from the competition and not have to win customers over price alone.

Cooperation between companies, the public sector and other actors is also essential in order to tackle long-term challenges (labor shortages, special burdens such as increased energy costs) and to strengthen the resilience of the German economy. Despite the uncertainties, it is important to maintain long-term perspectives and identify opportunities to positively shape the constant change, rather than just remaining in a reactive position.


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