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Opinión: 4 Reasons Retail is Alive and Well

Opinión: 4 Reasons Retail is Alive and Well
Julio 17, 2017

Autor/Fuente: Matthew Shay 👤Periodista: María Luisa Ayala 🕔17.Jul 2017

 

Time and time again we see the same simple formula repeated in news articles and segments decreeing the arrival of what’s becoming known as the “retail apocalypse.”They pick a catastrophic headline, tack on a picture of a shuttered storefront or a ghost mall and voila — a convincing fable masquerading as fact.

For the last few months, the media has insisted that retail jobs are vanishingretailers are melting down and bricks-and-mortar stores are doomed due to the rise of ecommerce.

There is no denying that retail is undergoing a major transformation, and some very visible companies are facing challenges. But beyond these trite and misguided retail obits is an industry that is transforming, growing and very much alive. As NRF’s VP of research recently pointed out, not only is retail not dying, most retailers are successfully adapting.

Clear sins of omission are distorting the true picture of the retail industry. As an industry we’re pushing back and providing the data and anecdotes that show the true picture. And we will continue to do so until these distortions stop.

Those of us who understand the industry know that retail isn’t dying, it’s transforming — driving sales, growth, jobs and, most of all, change.

The evolution of retail will create millions of better-paying positions, improve customer choice and experience, open new business opportunities and strengthen our industry for the long term.

Thankfully we are starting to see some people tell the real story of the state of retail. But it is not enough.

Four areas stand out as proof of retail’s vitality that we think are important to point out:

1. Retailers are increasing sales by embracing both storefronts and ecommerce.

Retail sales grew 3.6% in 2016, outperforming overall GDP growth, and NRF forecasts even stronger growth in 2017. These stats represent a healthy, expanding industry, which is successfully finding and leveraging drivers for sustained success.

Of course, critics will argue that sales are moving online. In fact, over 90% of transactions are still in-store; more importantly, ecommerce is a part of retail! As shown by Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods or Walmart’s purchase of Jet.com and Bonobos, retailers recognize that they need both online channels and physical stores to grow and succeed. Eight of the 10 largest ecommerce sites are owned by what people traditionally think of as bricks-and-mortar retailers.

2. Retail remains America’s #1 private-sector employer.

Retail directly employs more than 13 million American workers and supports 42 million jobs overall. While it’s true that some retailers have shed jobs in 2017, those losses are modest and represent less than half of 1% of the total. Most retailers are actually hiring — since the beginning of 2017, retail companies have posted more than 730,000 new jobs.

Sugerimos: http://www.america-retail.com/opinion/opinion-5-pasos-para-incrementar-el-trafico-y-alcanzar-resultados-con-seo/

Much of the confusion is due to outdated government statistics. Currently, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics only counts in-store retail jobs, which massively underreports positions in categories and locations like corporate headquarters, warehouses, call centers and other important parts of the business. These workers are integral to the modern retail industry, but even though they receive paychecks from these companies, they are left out of government tallies. It makes ZERO sense.

3. Stores are opening and small businesses are thriving.

As the industry evolves, new retail businesses and stores are constantly opening. Though stores will close in 2017, they represent a tiny fraction of the millions of retail establishments in the United States. Meanwhile, others like TJMaxx, Sephora and Dick’s Sporting Goods have announced plans to expand their footprint. Beyond national chains, small businesses continue to shape our industry — 98% of retailers have fewer than 100 employees.

4. Bricks-and-mortar locations are on the rise.

Developers built 87 million square feet of new retail space in 2016, which matches long-term trends: Since 2013, construction spending on retail structures has increased by 40%. The expansion is unleashing competition within the industry as retailers invest in newer, better and more strategic locations. According to a recent Wells Fargo report, this competition is the most common cause of “dead malls,” which are simply losing out to better retail spaces.

These strengths reflect the long-term trajectory of our industry, which includes more innovation, stronger sales, more competition and improved consumer choice every day. Retail has always been a pillar of the American economy, and our industry’s impact is set to expand, not disappear.

That truth isn’t as exciting as an apocalypse, but we will continue to push back on this false narrative and tell retail’s true story.

What do you see as the core strengths of today’s retail industry? How can retailers push against this false narrative that their industry is dying? Where are the biggest and most exciting opportunities for retail’s future?

 

Autor: Matthew Shay

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