KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • From a growth perspective, U.S. retail as a whole is performing reasonably well. Over the next five years, spending in all major sectors is projected to increase, although the pace of growth likely won’t be even.
  • For the first time, online retail is forecast to account for more than $1 out of every $10 spent in 2017 (approximately 10%). The flip side is that in five years’ time, physical stores will still account for the vast majority of retail spending.
  • Today, many consumers shop seamlessly across the various touchpoints, using a combination of stores and online channels. In essence, this means that physical stores are driving significantly more than the $3.2 trillion of spend that went directly through them in 2016.
  • Although physical stores will remain of vital importance for consumers, the type of stores consumers frequent is shifting. One of the more notable trends playing out is the rise of the value sector.
  • The most common complaints from consumers who have reduced their visits to shops are that stores are dull, uninspiring, hard to shop, rarely have new things to look at and offer poor customer experience. This sends a clear message to physical retailers that they can still drive success — if they deliver interesting and engaging experiences that pull in shoppers.