Six Predictions About the Future


This bizarre period is going to be over sooner than later, and when it does end, we are going to see some significant changes. Here are six predictions:

  1. Expect a mini-baby boom
    There are at least two things that occur when people are confined together: Divorce or babies. So, the current lockdowns across America could benefit the toy industry as the birth rate hopefully rises nine months from now due to an increase in amorous play as a way to pass the time.
  2. The recovery will be uneven
    a. The recovery is going to come sooner and later, depending upon the nature of a retailer’s consumer base. There is going to be a great deal of pent up demand for goods and services, but hourly workers are going to come out of this with empty bank accounts and increased debt. As a result, they may have the demand but not the means to satisfy it. Those who retail to low-income consumers will see a slower recovery.

    b.Those who have money will also experience pent up demand but will have the capital to meet their needs and desires. Therefore, those retailers who cater to more affluent shoppers will see their business respond more quickly than those at the bottom.

    c.Products that are currently in demand, anything from Tylenol to toilet paper to puzzles and games are going to face sharply declining sales when life gets back to normal. Why, because people are going to be sitting on an abundance of Tylenol, toilet paper, puzzles, and games. Those products which have been overlooked these last few weeks are going to see a surge in demand.

  3. Retail bankruptcies will increase
    No matter how strong the recovery, retailers who have been on the brink are going to slide into bankruptcy. As an example, venerable retailer Neiman-Marcus announced on March 24 that they are considering filing for bankruptcy.
  4. Delayed product introductions and problems with licensed products
    Chris Byrne, my co-host on The Playground Podcast, is predicting that we will see some of the new product introductions, particularly those that are more sophisticated in their technology, postponed until 2021.

    Chris also predicts challenges with uneven inventory due to delays in movie releases that, because of the changed release dates, will not match up with product introductions.

  5. Personal space will remain expanded
    You may or may not be familiar with Proxemics. It is the study of personal space and the impact that one’s environment has on how much space a person needs. I can recall reading Edward T. Hall’s book, “The Hidden Dimension,” which, to use the book’s description, “…demonstrates how man’s use of space can affect personal and business relations, cross-cultural interactions, architecture, city planning, and urban renewal.”

    Mr. Hall’s book described the various distances most people require between themselves and other people. Above is the graph he developed.

    I predict that the current need to maintain a minimum of six feet of space between individuals will not quickly go away.
  6. Cold and flu transmission will be down in 2021 and 2022
    We are learning lots of good habits about how not to pass on diseases. For example, what was a tedious measure (20 second-hand washing or remembering not to touch your face) are going to become instinctive, and the health of all will benefit.

2 thoughts

  1. I wrote this the other day
    Post Pandemic Predictions
    Milestone events change behaviors and re-shape society. We’ve seen it with AIDS, 9/11 and Covid-19 will perhaps be the most dramatic stimulus for change ever. These are some opinions I have about what’s to come, though surely, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’re someplace we’ve never been so there’s great unpredictability. Some changes will be short-term, and others will be permanent. Feel free to agree, disagree, add your own.
    • Handshakes will become obsolete. Replaced by fist or elbow bump. Will the European double cheek kiss remain?
    • Stadium events such as ball games and concerts will decline. This may also hold true for religion—churches, synagogues, etc
    • Tele-Teaching and remote learning will rise
    • Tele commuting will increase and city populations will decline
    • Tele-Medicine will rise and other dramatic healthcare changes. This will include robotic diagnostics
    • Conversational software artificial intelligence chatbots will accelerate to be more human-like. This is not Siri or Alexa, but simulating human conversation, with learning and an ongoing cumulative knowledgebase. This will have impact for telemedicine and diagnostics, as well as robotic companionship. Loneliness issues will be partly addressed this way.
    • Online religion will increase, (as will scams)
    • Greater appreciation for Dr’s, nurses and teachers
    • Virtual Reality experiences and hardware will explode in popularity
    • Airport security will include temperature scanning
    • Luxury status goods will lose their allure and cache in place of quality with function
    • Gardening will become a more popular hobby, with other self-sustainable habits
    • More thought and care about leadership

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