Growth, inflation, and adapting to unpredictable times

Posted by Cloudy Shaman on 10th Aug 2022

Growth, inflation, and adapting to unpredictable times

Prices for food increased 10.4 percent for the 12 months ending June 2022, the largest increase since February 1981. Prices for food at home rose 12.2 percent over the last 12 months, the largest increase since April 1979. Prices for food away from home rose 7.7 percent, the largest 12-month change since November 1981.

Energy prices rose 41.6 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since April 1980. Within the energy category, motor fuel prices (which includes all types of gasoline) increased 60.2 percent over the year. Gasoline prices increased 59.9 percent; the largest 12-month increase since March 1980. Electricity prices rose 13.7 percent, the largest 12-month increase since April 2006. Natural gas (piped utility gas) prices increased 38.4 percent over the 12 months ended June 2022, the largest increase since October 2005.

Prices for new vehicles increased 11.4 percent over the year, prices for used cars and trucks were up 7.1 percent, while prices for motor vehicle parts and equipment increased 14.9 percent.

This data is from the Consumer Price Index program and is not seasonally adjusted.

From boardrooms to grocery stores, inflation is affecting everyone. Prices are up over 7 percent in the United States and more around the world—with no signs of coming down anytime soon. Businesses are already reeling, and tired, from two years of a global pandemic that required nimble, innovative solutions. But it’s time again to strategize.

Options to Deal with Inflation

For the first time in at least a decade, inflation has become an urgent short-term consideration for almost all companies around the world. More recently, the U.S. Federal Reserve implied that the current wave of inflation may not be as “transitory” as originally suspected.

The classic response to inflation is to select one of three unattractive options. Companies can upset their customers by raising prices, upset their investors by cutting margins, or upset practically everyone by cutting corners in order to cut costs. Faced with this trilemma, most companies ultimately resort to raising their prices, then look for clever ways to mitigate the subsequent drama.

What they overlook, however, is that those options are shortsighted tactical relics of earlier eras. In the 1970s, when “stagflation” gripped major economies, businesses lacked the technology, the data, and in many cases the notion to do anything bolder or more strategic. When inflation hit during the Great Recession of 2008-09, businesses still saw themselves constrained within the same old trilemma.

Inflation in 2022 is a different story. Here at Vapor E-Cigarette, we now enjoy a level of market visibility and agility that other businesses could have hardly imagined even one generation ago. Vapor E-Cigarette has much better data and more sophisticated tools to analyze and turn this data into useful information to support decisions. It’s an ideal time for Vapor E-Cigarette to treat inflation as a strategic opportunity rather than a tactical challenge, and to choose from a better set of options. Instead of worrying about how much more to charge our customers, we have devoted our resources to figuring out how to source better products at a lower price. So, we can pass those savings on to our customers and NOT RAISE OUR PRICES. Instead, we have either been able to keep the same prices or even lower them. Yet we have not compromised on quality, we succeeded in elevating the quality.

We have gotten great feedback on our new products. Almost all our customers have commented that they are better than the older more expensive ones.

We have invested in better sourcing, better labeling, higher quality, and higher visibility.

This way of thinking and sourcing has positioned Vapor E-Cigarette to offer great prices to our customers who we know are feeling the pinch of everything else going up in price.

Come in and see us. We would love to show you how our prices have either stayed the same or even gotten lower with a better-quality product.

And as always, thank you for being our customer!