Headlines about retail store closures and department store bankruptcies in recent years have portrayed an impending “retail apocalypse” impression on the general public. This impression is a myth, according to the recent “Retail Renaissance – A Growth Story” research report.
In fact, for every chain closing stores, 5.2 chains are opening new stores.
The “Retail Renaissance” report provides rich research-based data to debunk the retail apocalypse headlines. Washington Retail believes our audience deserves to hear some of the upbeat data gathered from a recent webinar offered by the IHL Group that conducted the research:
- Closures do not reflect a systemic problem with the retail industry.
- 12 of the 14 largest retail apparel bankruptcies in the last 10 years are due to private equity mismanagement of debt and overexpansion.
- Other common failure reasons for individual retailers include not staying current with customers’ needs, failure to innovate and poor inventory management.
- Store closures are category-specific. The most hard-hit categories are department stores and specialty retailers of soft goods. Consequently, malls are hit hard due to losing anchor department stores.
- Store openings also are category-specific. The top three categories of store openings are superstores/wholesalers, convenience stores and drug stores.
- Estimates for 2019 core retail store activity gainers are at least 20% higher than 2018.
The research also offers a few bottom-line recommendations to malls and retailers:
- Invest to win: keep your stores up-to-date; keep your eyes on inventory management.
- Connect with your customers especially when they come to the store. Customers come to the store to get the items now and to gain knowledge and experience with products.
- Invest in technology and data to inform your business decisions.
- To attract more shoppers, malls need to expand their infrastructure offerings to retail tenants and diversify their tenant base, especially non-traditional stores.
Data tell the real story about the thriving and shifting retail industry. These times remain exciting for retail!