What Will Happen to the Supply Chain Crisis in 2022? Top Execs From Foot Locker, Macy’s, Crocs Make Predictions

As consumer demand soared in 2021, the supply chain crisis caused big challenges for vendors and retailers — particularly smaller players.

Now after a year of intense focus on sourcing and supply chain operations, executives sound off on how the situation will evolve in 2022.

Dick Johnson, chairman and CEO, Foot Locker

“I think the supply chain situation will improve. Crisis is a strong, strong word, and the disruption that we’ve felt has been caused by a lot of different things, but I think the supply chain situation will certainly improve. There will be lumpiness in the process while it does improve, but I think throughout the year we’ll see the supply chain situation continue to improve.”

Nata Dvir, chief merchandising officer, Macy’s

“We expect supply chain challenges to persist throughout the first half of 2022. Our team has done a great job leveraging our strong networks and relationships with international carriers and brands, and diversifying how we move product both up and downstream. I know they will continue to be flexible, agile and creative throughout 2022 to find new ways to mitigate any potential disruptions.”

Kenneth Cole, founder, chief creative officer, Kenneth Cole 

“We will over correct and buy too much for next year, but I’m not sure we have a choice.”

Michelle Poole, president, Crocs 

“My prediction is that unpredictability is the new normal! Our ability to navigate significant supply disruptions for the last two years has been a key ingredient of Crocs’ success and we’ll continue to do our best to stay agile and nimble to meet as much consumer demand as possible.”

Michelle Poole Crocs
Michelle Poole, president of Crocs
CREDIT: Courtesy Image

Diane Sullivan, chairman and CEO, Caleres

“I think everyone will sing the same tune on this one – supply chain delays and ocean freight increases [were the biggest challenge] this year. Our team did a nice job controlling what they could and being as preemptive as possible. We continue to aggressively manage through it, but I know everyone will be relieved when it returns to normal.”

Bob Philion, president, Puma North America

“We foresee the high demand for retail products to continue into 2022, but we also see supply constraints continue to be a problem into the new year. A COVID-19-related lockdown of production in South Vietnam, an overheated global freight market with high rates and a lack of capacity, port congestion and a very difficult market situation in China were hurdles Puma and retailers alike had to overcome this year and are things we can see into the future. Demand for retail products was at a high, and Puma worked tirelessly to deliver as much product as possible and we continued to be as flexible and service-minded for our partners as we could be. We will continue to maneuver through the operational problems and are trying to be nimble and adaptable, but we will also continue to invest in our brand, products and infrastructure for the mid and long term to combat the ongoing supply chain crisis.”

Bill Jordan, president, Designer Brands

“The supply chain crisis will lessen but not go away.  Supply chains are becoming more complex by the day.  At Designer Brands, we have been making large investments into our supply chain and it’s paying off.  We will continue those investments in 2022 with the goal of ‘faster and cheaper.’ Get shoes to stores and customers faster and pay less per pair.”

Danny Ewoldsen, president, Johnston & Murphy

“There is no question that shutting down the supply chain is a much easier task than ramping it back up. We’re all hustling to meet increased consumer demand. That said, I do think there are some positives that we can take away. Scarcity can be very powerful as it relates to margin and turn. The longer-term issue is inflationary pressure. Every brand will have to decide whether to increase prices or take quality out of the product. At J&M quality is deeply rooted in our heritage and we are committed to that standard. We believe that when faced with inflation consumers may buy fewer things, but they will not hesitate to invest in quality products from brands they trust.”

Ashley Petrie, SVP of merchandising, Fred Segal 

“It will continue to be a struggle, but we hope to have more learnings and a better solution to work through these issues in advance of next year.”

Ankur Amin, CEO, TGS (parent to Extra Butter)

“The supply chain crisis will continue to disrupt until fall, at the least.”

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