Store closures, bankruptcies and scaling back are in the news – hitting industry stalwarts like JC Penney and Sears, as well as newer players. Simultaneously, current headlines include Walmart and Google's partnership, and the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods is being completed. We're also seeing retailers opening new stores, including beauty, sporting goods, automotive, grocery and other categories.
But here's the thing, even though more stores have been opened than closed, and sales have increased $100B in 2017 (according to IHL), measuring the growth (or shrinkage) of retail in terms of doors or square footage renders an incomplete picture.
Within the reality of meeting consumers wherever and whenever they are: 'always-on shopping' combining brick & mortar, social, e-commerce, mobile, virtual assistants, etc. – retail continues to expand. Bain's US Census data analysis indicates a steady 5 year growth average of 4%, including similar year over year growth from 2015 to 2016 holiday seasons.
So, what are some of the key factors to consider? The number one driver of sales growth at brick & mortar is BOPiS, 40% of ALL search begins on Amazon, and there is a significant 20% increase in brand-direct sales via their dotcom stores.