TORONTO — Depending on what happens to inflation, the next 12 months are going to be very tough on retailers in terms of top-line sales, Allan L. Leighton, president and deputy chairman of Loblaw Cos. here, told the annual Back-to-School conference sponsored by Scotia Capital.
He said he believes the move from recession to recovery will resemble a duck's head — continuing to move downward for a while like a duck's neck, then bottoming out and rising gradually like a duck’s back.
But with consumers continuing to chase value and impacting margins, there is still a lot of uncertainty about the future, “and the test for everybody managing a business today is, how do you manage in uncertain times? That's the skill everybody has to learn.”
According to Leighton, with a loyal customer base and economies of scale, Loblaw views “this whole recession as a bit of an opportunity because we’ve got firepower that other people don't have.”
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