Emili Alsina, Director, Ediciones Just
If there is one word that would qualify how manufacturers and retailers are working nowadays, this would be "caution". There is an obvious contraction in consumption, not only in Spain, and it is clear that consumers buy fewer products from fewer brands, intensifying the trend towards concentration.
This caution makes sense, but the truth is that it sometimes goes beyond the market situation. The lower consumption causes retailers to buy less product from manufacturers, who do not develop as many new references as before. But this in turn leads to a smaller offer, that leaves consumers without many choices, again making them to buy only a few product lines.
When prudence is excessive, it leads to a paralysing feedback. This also leads to contradictions in the market, when consumers are looking for a certain brand or product and they can not find it simply because manufacturers and retailers have a biased view of their buyers, as they work according to a perhaps excessive risk aversion.
This not only affects new products and brands. There are also properties in licensing, for example, that are still very present in the minds of consumers, but professionals are retiring them maybe too soon, believing that the market is already saturated. People are afraid that sure bets are no longer so sure.
No doubt, taking risks in the current situation is not easy and of course one must calculate well and act on all available data and analysis. But we can not forget that the market requires dynamism and we must not miss opportunities. An excess of caution could paralyse our business.