ASCG Retail Trends 2

Confidence is high among retailers that 2022 will see supply chains return to pre-pandemic levels of normality, according to research by the Advanced Supply Chain Group (ASCG).

It said 46% of 212 retailers surveyed in January believed widespread delays and disruption will come to an end, with the movement of goods returning to levels of last seen before Covid and Brexit.

A third think this year will see “some improvements”.

ASCG said the research revealed strong levels of confidence despite supply chain problems resulting in losses for many during the seasonal peak.

It also found 17% had low confidence in any bounce-back and 3% having no confidence at all.

These retailers cited continuing disruption caused by Covid, forthcoming Brexit-related changes and rising shipping costs as the biggest risks preventing supply chains from stabilising.

There is also concern over the threat of environmental pressure groups causing disruption, particularly after Extinction Rebellion blocked warehouse depots and Insulate Britain protested on transport routes during 2021.

Caroline Ellis, ASCG commercial director, said: “Undoubtedly, there are still challenges on the horizon, but retailers are more optimistic about supply chain stability because they are finding new ways to win back control over inventory management in the face of adversity.

“Likewise, they are also drawing on supply chain data to pinpoint new solutions for reducing errors and optimising supply chains to mitigate the wider impact of problems.”