Retail’s Radical Transformation/Real Opportunities


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Date of PublicationJanuary 27, 2021
FormatAdobe PDF
LicenseEnterprise-Wide Internal - Subject to Fair Use License
GeographyNorth America
Author(s)Greg Buzek

This research has been updated for 2019.  You can get the latest study here.

The mainstream press continues to push the “Retail Apocalypse” narrative yet store counts and retail sales are up sharply in 2018.

This research looks at over 1,500 retailers with 50 or more stores.  We highlight what is growing and what is shrinking and why it is so easy to cherry-pick bad news when the overall story is positive.  We outline store count increases and decreases, and also key trends driving retail.  Next, we outline why companies that are closing stores or going out of business are doing so.

Finally, we talk about what malls and traditional retailers must do to change and the impact of Amazon Prime has on behaviors in store.  Online is growing fast, but we forecast that 81% of all retail will still have a store component by 2021 either as traditional retailing at stores or online fulfillment.

Over 3,800 more stores are opening than closing in 2018 among big chains. As well, through the first seven months of the year, retail sales are up $190 billion, an amount roughly equivalent to the total annual retail sales of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

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