If there’s one key point that Parker wants retailers to remember through 2023, it’s that consumers aren’t in some confounding-but-temporary, intermediate holding pattern—on the cusp of returning to their pre-pandemic or pre-high-inflation selves and shopping behaviors.

“Throughout any period since March of 2020, we’ve been obsessed with this thought of, ‘When’s it going to go back to normal?’” she says. “But there isn’t a normal anymore. We’re all living in the normal.”

“I think people are already showing us what they’re going to be doing for some time,” she continues. “It’s really important now that we don’t keep waiting for some magic day when everything’s going to be back or everything’s going to change again.”