Research + Studies
Most retailers are planning to open stores in the coming year, while only about one in four say they intend to close units, according to a new report.
“The market has dispelled any notion of a purported ‘retail apocalypse,’ though challenges do still exist for retailers,” says the report, titled The State of Retailing Online 2019, which Forrester Research completed on behalf of the National Retail Federation. Fifty-four percent of the retailers surveyed for the report said they intend to open stores this year, and 38 percent are opening pop-up shops. Nearly 70 retailers were interviewed concerning their intentions, their experiences with omni-channel development and similar issues.
“Many retailers we surveyed plan to open new stores in 2019, but simultaneously, e-commerce sites are becoming more expensive to operate,” the report said.
“The market has dispelled any notion of a purported 'retail apocalypse' ”
While the media tend to play up the notion of some epidemic of store closures, this is not the view the report has taken. Indeed, some 57 percent of its respondents said they expect to be operating the same number of stores at the end of this year as they had going last year, and about 36 percent said they would even have more stores than last year. Only about 7 percent said they anticipated having fewer stores open.
Omni-channel operations remain a work in progress for many retailers, however. “A significant portion of retailers surveyed this year, for instance, are just now investing in tactics like ‘buy online, pick up in-store,’ " the report said, "which is the most common area of investment reported for 2019.”
By Edmund Mander