No, you aren't going to be able to outrun a recession.
Not by a long-shot.
But you can position yourself to weather the recession better than your competition.
- Make sure your Inventory Management Team is not buying to forecast. The last thing you need to do is mark down good merchandise because you didn't plan ahead.
- Instead of discounting in the short-term, over-invest in marketing. The goal is to get through inventory now and get new customers in the process ... it's better to lose money acquiring a customer than to lose money via discounts/promotions ... the former gets you a new customer, the latter gets you a new/existing customer who expects to never pay full price again.
- Be ready to then reduce marketing spent at a moment's notice. Know exactly where you can reduce marketing spend with virtually no impact on the total business ... y'all have cases where you are spending money and not obtaining a return on investment ... be ready to pull those dollars immediately, protecting your profit and loss statement.
- Stop expensive marketing among customers with high return rates ... why churn merchandise during a recession? If the customer has a high return rate, shut the customer down. Let your competition deal with unprofitable transactions.
There's probably 22,000 different ideas and tactics. Get your grease board out, write down the ideas / tactics, and begin executing the minute your metrics suggest you are headed into a recession.