While 2020 saw a slough of retail closures, whether temporary (in response to regional COVID outbreaks) or permanently for this and a myriad of other reasons, 2021 saw only slight improvements throughout what many insiders had high hopes would be a year of return to more traditional numbers – at least partially.

But not to be outdone, 2021 introduced new problems. Most notably, the Supply Chain backups that we all still haven’t begun to recover from. Retailers nevertheless adjusted along with vendors, placing more emphasis on fewer items that in-turn rely on less (or more readily-accessible) component materials. This helped stave off the majority of empty shelf crises.

Patient and eager for a return to the norm themselves, consumers have indeed been fueling what the industry hoped would be more traditional numbers for this time of year… and while evident, what we’re seeing is perhaps more interesting. We’ve been monitoring numbers even higher than that of pre-pandemic fame and the trend seems to be carrying out through the bellwether season.

We’ll keep up on this, but for now, it’ll be important to monitor both online and in-store sales, as well as other metrics like curbside delivery and similar COVID response services that consumers have grown fond of (and may not so easily let go of even after COVID has finally subsided).

Until then, while COVID is still maneuvering about the country, it may be valuable time invested for your brand management team to line up your retail POS reports from a regional perspective in order to see how consumer, retailer and other peer brands are benefiting from each response strategy.

Let’s set up a meet to look over your brand’s position and see how our sales reporting can help drive the best path forward.