Retail is undergoing an enormous transformation, leaving many asking, “What’s the future of retail?” The narrative that the industry is struggling, dying or even suffering a retail apocalypse inaccurately depicts what’s really happening.
Retail is growing.
There are over 1 million retail establishments across the United States, and retail sales have grown almost 4 percent annually since 2010.
It’s not in-store vs. online.
It’s all retail. Of the top 50 online retailers, nearly all operate stores.
Industry-wide, online sales make up 10 percent of all retail sales.
ICSC finds opening a new store increases traffic to that retailer’s website by an average of 37% and drives up share of web traffic within that market by 27%.
There’s no question the retail industry is transforming, driven by new technology, evolving consumer behavior and bold new innovators.
And as the industry evolves, industry leaders and analysts are asking complex questions about how to measure success as the digital and physical worlds continue to converge within the modern retail business.
Analysts and executives agree: These 3 factors will shape retail’s future
As the evolution of retail continues, many experts are now questioning the value of long-standing metrics like same-store sales and wondering how the new retail industry can be measured more accurately.
Read more from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay on LinkedIn.
The retail apocalypse that everyone had been talking about really hasn’t happened.
Recent industry coverage
Don’t take our word for it. Recent news coverage shows an industry that is evolving and thriving:
- MarketWatch: Massive store closures are a strategy, not a sign of a ‘retail apocalypse,’ experts say (Sep 16, 2019)
- Wall Street Journal: As the Fed Frets, Retailers Rake in Sales (August 21, 2019)
- Axios: Store closures don’t mean retail is dead (July 26, 2019)
- CNBC: Retail stores get a bad rap, as closures pile up. But here’s how stores boost online sales (July 22, 2019)
- Retail Dive: NYC, suburbs hold lead in troubled retail construction sector (May 7, 2019)