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Andrea Felsted

Andrea Felsted’s View to 2022: Consumers, Prepare to Tighten Up

The retail boom of the past year is getting hit with inflation, higher borrowing costs and omicron. Plus a selection of the columnist’s best work in 2021.

Maybe next year?

Maybe next year?

Photographer: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images AsiaPac

What to Expect in 2022:

The past year saw a shift in consumer habits that was broadly helpful to the retail sector: Not only did we go to restaurants again and buy more glamorous attire, we also continued to spruce up our homes and shop online. This meant that even with supply chain snarl-ups, most consumer companies had a pretty good 2021. This coming year, we’ll face another big adjustment — but this time it may not be so welcome. Even without the threat of retrenchment due to the omicron variant, shoppers face having to pay more for what they need and not being able to afford what they want. Inflation is ticking up. Borrowing costs are set to rise. And lockdown savings are bound to dwindle. This makes for a much more challenging backdrop when it comes to consumer spending.