Navigating Inflation’s Impact on Retail: Insights from the Frontlines

In a recent podcast discussion between Allan Rutman, Turnaround Management and Insolvency Advisor / CRO at Zeifmans, and Rebecca Harding from Saltwhistle, the topic of inflation and its effects on the retail sector took center stage. With a focus on Canada but with broader implications for global retail, the conversation shed light on the challenges and opportunities facing businesses in this uncertain economic landscape. 

Rutman highlighted the concerning trend of inflation in Canada, which, though showing signs of moderating, remains above the target rates set by the Bank of Canada. Factors such as rising food prices and increasing mortgage rates are squeezing consumers’ purchasing power, particularly impacting families who face higher costs for essentials and housing. The conversation then expanded to the broader global context, noting that the US, despite its higher productivity and economic strength, still grapples with stubborn inflation. This trend extends beyond North America, with countries worldwide experiencing varying degrees of inflationary pressure. Retailers across the globe are feeling the impact, with mixed results depending on regional economic conditions and consumer confidence levels. 

Retail Challenges and Strategies 

The return to brick-and-mortar shopping post-pandemic has been noted, driven by consumers’ desire for social interaction and tactile experiences. However, retailers face numerous challenges, including managing supply chain disruptions, finding and retaining staff, negotiating with landlords to reduce rents, and balancing online and in-store sales strategies. Looking ahead, Rutman offered insights for retailers facing the coming months. He emphasized the importance of financial prudence, creative customer engagement strategies, and operational efficiency. With the looming possibility of recession in some regions and ongoing uncertainties in the global economy, retailers must adapt quickly to changing market dynamics while ensuring they meet the evolving needs of their customers. 

How to be Proactive 

As the retail sector navigates the complexities of inflation and economic uncertainty, proactive measures and strategic planning are crucial for survival and success. By staying agile, responsive, and customer-focused, retailers can weather the storm and emerge stronger in the post-pandemic era. If you need guidance when it comes to your business, feel free to reach out to us at  

To listen to the full podcast episode, please click here. 


Q&A with Partner, Jennifer Chasson

Q&A with Partner, Jennifer Chasson

With over 25 years of experience and 100+ successful transactions under her belt, Partner, Jennifer Chasson, brings invaluable expertise to the table. Whether it’s guiding as an advisor, mentor underwriter, ...