It’s a new year and time to find out what the future might hold. There will be challenges and triumphs and 2023 will offer a chance to move retailers and restaurants forward. Last year was inconsistent at best; however, the coming months should provide more stability. This is a fresh start and an opportunity to forge ahead.

The supply chain has dogged every industry since the beginning of the pandemic. Shortages of everything from computer chips to butter became normal, yet things are starting to change. Many of the reported shortages from this past holiday season did not come to pass and there should be fewer shortages overall this year. This combined with lessening COVID era restrictions will allow companies to make meaningful recoveries.

Even though the supply chain is returning to normal, the changes that have taken place over the last few years are here to stay and will be put into overdrive. We saw foot traffic increase during the holiday season, yet we should not count on that being the standard. Technology is still going to be a major factor in how consumers shop and interact with their favorite brands. Personalized apps tied to each individual company have become incredibly popular and we are going to see an increased focus on getting customers onboarded with these applications. This is all part of a push to make the ultimate seamless shopping experience between physical and online storefronts. Whomever can create this ideal combination will have a distinct advantage and 2023 could be the year we see this achieved.

The advancement of technology and bringing customers into individual ecosystems will be more important that ever as we could see shoppers become more selective. Inflation is still a major issue and it will continue to be a challenge. While there was some impressive spending spikes in 2022, they could be harder to come by in 2023. Inflation is squeezing businesses and consumers alike and it will take more effort to convince a consumer to try new products. Inflation will only increase the importance of the elusive seamless shopping experience as businesses battle it out for any advantage they can get.

The new year will also present the opportunity for expansion and acquisitions. The past few years have made it difficult to maintain large footprints and closures dominated the headlines. That started to change last year, and we likely see even more stories chronicling new real estate deals and major acquisitions. The Kroger acquisition of Albertsons made waves last year and it could kick off a chain of other purchases and mergers. Expansions will also be on the mind of most businesses for both traditional and smaller format stores. The latter will be more common with companies attempting to reach new consumers and looking for places to implement their new technologies.

The next 12 months are ripe with opportunity for those willing to take risks and seize it. Inflation and a slowed economy will continue to persist throughout the year and will need to be taken into consideration. We expect to see a true recovery from the pandemic begin this year and will find out which companies have invested the most in advancing their internal technologies. 2023 will be an exciting race with near infinite possibilities for the finish line.

Start off your new year with a solid business strategy using accurate CSG data. Whether you need to forecast an industry or plan an expansion, we have the data you need to make it happen. For suppliers that need new clients, this is the perfect time to start building relationships with the retail & foodservice buyers looking to fill their inventories. Schedule a call with your Account Manager today and see how CSG can accelerate your growth.