The Future of Retail: Nine Things to Watch for in the Coming Year - eMarketer
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The Future of Retail: Nine Things to Watch for in the Coming Year

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: October 30, 2017

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

You may think that the world of physical retail is shrinking, but you’re wrong. In fact, the number of stores in the US is actually growing.

  • According to retail advisory firm IHL Group, retail chains will close 10,168 stores this year but will open 14,248 stores, suggesting a net of 4,080 new stores. Smaller retailers will add an additional 10,000 stores.
  • Retail sales in the US will grow 3.8% in 2017, eMarketer estimates. A good portion of the growth is coming from Amazon and ecommerce—but not all. Brick-and-mortar retail sales will grow 2.8%, which works out to more than $100 billion for the year.
  • The focus on store closures and declining comps (same-store sales) at major retailers has overshadowed continued growth at a number of companies.

"As the industry struggles to adjust to the challenges of ecommerce, shifting consumer habits and new economic realities, some companies and sectors will thrive and some will not, and some technologies and platforms will find wide audiences, while others will languish."

Table of Contents

Prediction No. 1: Don’t Bet on the Mid-Tier

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Prediction No. 2: Margins Will Continue to Shrink

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Prediction No. 3: Retailers Who Make It Easier to Shop Will Survive—and Those Who Don’t, Won’t

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Prediction No. 4: Showrooming Won’t Be a Problem—It Will Be the Reason for Many Stores to Exist

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Prediction No. 5: Back-End Technologies Will Revolutionize Supply Chain and Fulfillment

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Prediction No. 6: In a Polarized World, Values Are Going to Matter More, Not Less

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Prediction No. 7: Shoppers Won’t Bother Visiting Humdrum Stores

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Prediction No. 8: Personalization Will Become the Norm

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Prediction No. 9: Amidst Globalization, Localization Will Grow More Important

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12 charts are included in the full report:

The Future of Retail: Nine Things to Watch for in the Coming Year

US Retail Sales, 2016-2021 (trillions and % change)

Prediction No. 1: Don’t Bet on the Mid-Tier

US Mean Household Income, by Quintile, 2007-2016

Prediction No. 2: Margins Will Continue to Shrink

US Consumers' Average Daily Spending, by Age, 2008 & 2016

Reasons that US Internet Users Purchase Products on Amazon, by Age, March 2017 (% of respondents)

Prediction No. 3: Retailers Who Make It Easier to Shop Will Survive—and Those Who Don’t, Won’t

US Internet Users Who Agree vs. Disagree that They Would Rather Have More Time than More Money, by Income Level, Summer 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Factors that Have Influenced US Merchants' Sales Growth, May 2017 (% of respondents)

Prediction No. 4: Showrooming Won’t Be a Problem—It Will Be the Reason for Many Stores to Exist

US Smartphone Owners Who Showroom*, by Age, Sep 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Prediction No. 5: Back-End Technologies Will Revolutionize Supply Chain and Fulfillment

Implementation of Select Fulfillment Options According to Retail Executives in North America, April 2017 (% of respondents)

Prediction No. 6: In a Polarized World, Values Are Going to Matter More, Not Less

US Internet Users' Attitudes Toward the Social Responsibility/Values of Brands, Jan 2017 (% of respondents)

Prediction No. 7: Shoppers Won’t Bother Visiting Humdrum Stores

US Internet Users Who Would Prefer Purchasing a Designer/Brand Name Product vs. Having an Experience*, April 2017 (% of total)

Prediction No. 8: Personalization Will Become the Norm

Implementation of Personalization Strategy According to Senior Marketers Worldwide, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

Prediction No. 9: Amidst Globalization, Localization Will Grow More Important

US Mobile Local Ad Spending, Location-Targeted vs. Non-Location-Targeted, 2016-2021 (billions)