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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.

Let's Talk Business: Learning from Consumers this Holiday Season

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Cape Convention & Visitors Bureau
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The National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting a healthy holidays shopping market with estimated spending in the U.S. between $942.6 billion and $ 960.4 billion. How consumers choose to spend their money can be informative as we look to grow the region.

The Thanksgiving holiday has become the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping season and the days following even have special nicknames like “Black Friday”, “Small Business Saturday”, “Cyber Monday”, and “Giving Tuesday”. While each of these days has become synonymous with specials and discounts, one of the values we can find locally is a look at how consumers are spending to help identify where market opportunities may exist in the future.

Whether they are taking advantage of a big discount on electronics or appliances at a big box retailer, focusing their shopping at a locally owned independent store or franchise or heating things up on a smart phone ordering things online consumer spending habits this holiday season will be a signal for businesses to better plan for inventory and opportunities in 2023.

Watching shopping trends and even having discussions with consumers over the next several weeks business owners and community leaders can get insights on priorities and needs for product mix inventory planning for next year. Additionally, there is a great opportunity to identify gaps in our local or regional market as local consumers go online for things they can’t find locally. This information can help businesses possibly identify to new markets or product lines to grow into or possibly guide local developers on where market recruitment opportunities might be strongest.

To keep the local economy strong means providing the opportunity to keep shoppers local, now is a great time to keep learning and growing for southeast Missouri.

Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.