Retail predicted to grow in next three years

by MM&D Staff

Omnichannel sales volume is predicted to help boost global retail sales by three percent up to 2021, according to a new study.

The 2017 Retail Transformation Study examines the current and future retail marketplace in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Conducted by Zebra Technologies Corporation with IHL Group, a research and advisory firm for the retail and hospitality industries, the report highlights the transformation of the retail sector as the model evolves to better serve consumers.

IHL projects the North American and Europe / Middle East / Africa retail markets to each grow approximately three percent over the next five years to US$5.5 trillion and €4.4 trillion in sales respectively. E-commerce is projected to eclipse $1.5 trillion by 2021.

2017 saw more retail store openings than closures and store openings are expected to outpace closures through 2021. IHL research estimates that the enterprise retail market (companies with more than 50 stores) had 4,080 net stores opening through October 2017. In fact, 42 percent of retailers had a net increase in stores while only 15 percent had a net decrease.

IHL projects technology spending among retailers to rise approximately three percent over the next three years as retailers continue to evolve their operations to support unified commerce and provide a modern, engaging customer experience for today’s savvy, empowered shoppers.

Mobility is a driver for most surveyed retailers who plan to invest in mobile barcode or thermal printers, handheld barcode scanners and mobile computers within the next three years.

Store and fulfillment operations are transforming dramatically to adapt to evolving retail models. Among surveyed North American retailers expecting growth of more than five percent, 60 percent cited faster sales growth as a key driver for changes in store operations, while 52 percent cited the shift in sales to online purchases. Interestingly, 52 percent identified same-day delivery as a key warehouse operations driver as consumer demand is encouraging retailers to improve the in-store returns process and enhance their fulfillment and delivery strategies.

In coordination with the IHL Group and Peerless Insights, Zebra Technologies Corporation’s Retail Transformation study included detailed interviews with leading retailers, 400 online surveys and an additional study of 1,800 publicly and privately held retailers across nine retail segments. The interviews and surveys were conducted between July and October 2017.