Posted on

CEOs Are Obsessed With ‘Elasticity’ as Inflation Soars. Here’s Why.

Share

When companies raise prices, they make assumptions about the strength of their brands and how inflation affects their typical customers — earnings at the mass-market retailer Target have plunged because its shoppers have been buying less clothing and electronics, while the luxury house Hermès, maker of the pricey Birkin bag, recently reported its biggest profit margin ever.Fittingly, the number of mentions of elasticity on the earnings calls mimics the inflation rate: bumping along at a relatively low level of about 2 percent for years before soaring to new heights in recent months, above 9 percent in June.Several companies say they have already noticed higher prices hurting demand, at least for some of their products. That has been true for Kellogg, which saw cereal sales in Europe slow; Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat processor by sales, which said customers were shifting away from more expensive chicken and meat offerings in favor of cheaper cuts; and Ralph Lauren, which said it had seen some of its “value-oriented” customers pulling back.Walmart“The rising cost for essential items and customers’ reprioritization of spending led to significant mix shifts in o …

Read More