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When Local Stores are Digital Too

November 20, 2017

When Local Stores are Digital Too

November 17, 2017 | Mark Cummins | Ad Age

Offline retail is finally about to change. But the shift is more subtle than many people think.

The internet has still barely touched how most things are bought. After two decades of the internet and the mobile revolution, 91% of U.S. retail spending still takes place in brick-and-mortar stores. Traditional retail sales continue to grow, exceeding $5 trillion this year. Amazon is growing faster, but is still a drop in the bucket.

 You’d be forgiven for thinking that offline retail is about to keel over and die. Headline writers attract clicks by proclaiming the “retail apocalypse.” There’s plenty of material to fuel the narrative, from struggling mall operators to large bankruptcies like Toys R Us. Yet the numbers don’t match this gloomy narrative. In 2017, the U.S. will have a net gain of approximately 3,000 new stores. (Apparel is having a tough time, but other sectors are growing strongly.) In total, offline retail sales will increase by about $70 billion, which is equivalent to half of Amazon’s annual revenue. Brick-and-mortar will continue to dominate retail for a long time to come.
 
 
 
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John E. Moriarty, ChFC
December 2015
February 3, 2016

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