After recovering early in 2022, the retail sector is again on the ropes. And according to Mark Cohen, former CEO of Sear Canada, the worse is yet to come.
Speaking with Yahoo Finance, Cohen, who currently works as a professor of retail studies at Columbia University, predicted that a “flurry of bankruptcies” will shake retail in the first quarter of 2023. According to him, the only thing that could prevent this from happening is a successful holiday season, although that seems unlikely at the moment.
“I think we will see a flurry of bankruptcies likely in the first quarter of 2023 if this holiday season is anything less than completely robust,” said Cohen. “I don’t think it will be, by the way.”
Bankruptcies decimated the retail industry at the start of the pandemic, but things have gotten better since the second half of 2021. However, the slowdown in the economy, rising prices, and fear of recession are signaling tough times for retailers once again. This is especially the case with the smaller businesses, which are more sensible in times of the worsening economy.
“There is no question as business becomes tougher to manage, weak players fall by the wayside,” Cohen added.