The retail industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with real total retail sales falling by 0.5 percent in the last year. As physical retail evolves to stay competitive, marketers must also evolve their strategies to keep up. Here, 13 members of the Forbes Communications Council discuss what the decline in physical sales means for sellers in today's retail industry. Smart marketers are actively linking the in-person experience to digital experiences, making physical properties more valuable to customers. Much of what customers do that is revealing is done online, and this evolution means that their behaviors can translate into a first-rate user experience regardless of the channel, taking into account the new requirements that come with Covid-19 such as comfort and safety. Data for April was revised downwards to show that sales increased by 0.7% instead of 0.9% as previously reported.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had predicted that retail sales would increase by 0.2%, with estimates ranging from a 1.1% drop to a 0.5% increase. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the retail industry, as many stores have closed or become managed, including large retail empires such as Arcadia Group. While traditional retail positions such as cashiers are declining, retail employment is recovering due to the increase in the employment of warehouses, order fillers and service drivers to meet the growing demand for practical online shopping. We can also expect a streamlining of stores as retailers move from main streets or large malls to smaller, more located areas that are easier to reach. Retail Insight Network spoke with Cognizant's director of products and resources, Rohit Gupta, to find out how the disappearance of these great retail empires will affect the rest of the retail industry and what lessons can be learned. This also means that retail job types will change as successful retailers proactively plan for a change in their business model and workforce. However, there are still long-term changes that city leaders should consider to support local retailers amid the growth of online retail sales, emerging retailers, mixed-use retail spaces, and experience-based retail and discount stores. Retail Insight Network spoke with multinational technology company Cognizant's director of products and resources, Rohit Gupta, to find out how the disappearance of these great retail empires will affect the rest of the retail industry and what lessons can be learned.
A retail landscape monopolized by Amazon will mean worse labor standards, fewer options for consumers and the closure of shopping malls in some communities, much like what happened during the discount store boom decades ago. The report identifies several key trends in the future of the physical retail industry and provides a path forward for cities seeking to improve the future resilience of the retail industry in their communities. Part of the benefit of a real-life retail experience is that being able to touch, smell or see an item before buying it tends to eliminate potential discrepancies between what the customer wants and what they receive - discrepancies that can affect e-commerce and cause persistent feelings of remorse. Members of the Forbes Communications Council weigh in on what the decline in physical sales means for retailers. While consumers spend more on services, weak retail sales in May and downward revisions to April data suggest that consumption slowed in the second quarter. As cities adapt to a new retail environment, it's important for local leaders to have more clarity about who may be affected, what tools are available to facilitate meaningful evolution of commercial spaces and what voices should be at the decision-making table. To facilitate these important changes in retail business and consumption patterns throughout the pandemic and to continue to support retailers as the economy reopens, local leaders also adapted to better address changing needs of their residents and local businesses. If you look at the retail industry and see that e-commerce is booming as physical sales continue to decline, it's easy to speculate that traditional retail is dying. However, there are still ways for sellers to stay competitive in today's market - from linking digital experiences with physical ones to adapting their business models - if they are willing to embrace change.