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.
2018 will see a net growth of 2,000 stores
It makes headlines when well-known retailers close stores, but research from IHL Group shows for every retailer closing stores in 2018, two are opening stores: There will be a net increase of 2,000 stores in 2018. The report also expects stores to be involved in 81 percent of all retail sales in 2021.
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:
- Bloomberg: Warby Parker Is Coming to a Suburban Mall Near You (Oct. 2018)
- Retail Dive: Digitally native brands set to open 850 stores in 5 years (Oct. 2018)
- Forbes: The Retail Apocalypse Is Not Happening: Why Retailers Who Innovate Will Never Go Extinct (Sept. 2018)
- Bloomberg: Walmart and Target Showcase Retail's ‘Renaissance’ (Aug. 2018)
- Wall Street Journal: Consumer Spending Lifts Retailers (Aug. 2018)