The Future of the Retail Industry is Bright

NRF Big Show 2

True, it may be hard to believe given much of the retail news in the past few weeks:
• Walmart to close 269 stores
• Holiday shopping season sales fall below NRF’s projections
• Best Buy’s holiday sales are disappointing
• Stocks experience worst early January in history
• Macy’s pressured to spin off some real estate to improve cash reserves.
• Old Navy’s troubles are bad news for GAP
• Finish Line to close 150 stores
• Kohl’s weighs next steps as woes mount

But, there is a lot of positive news, too:
• JCPenney saw comparable store sales increase over the holiday season
• lululemon is on the rebound
• Walgreens experienced a strong quarter
• Online holiday sales increased 9% more than predicted
• Retail sales are predicted to grow in 2016
• Millennials (those between the ages of 20 and 38) have the most purchasing power and represent the largest demographic group other than baby boomers

There is little doubt that retail sales will continue to grow, not only in 2016 but well into the foreseeable future–which brings us back to the NRF Big Show and its focus on positive retail industry growth, the technology that will help fuel that growth and the people who will make it happen.

Digital Partners

Of the 2016 Big Show attendees:
• Historically, 87% play a role in purchase decisions
• 165 are C-suite level
• 28% have the final say in procurement decisions
• 15% represent specialty/apparel
• 6%+ are online or omni-channel retailers

The technology-centric exhibitors represent a variety of retail operations:
• 119 – business intelligence
• 210 – point of sale
• 106 – big data
• 121 – in-store analytics
• 104 – e-commerce

To be sure, in spite of some recent sobering statistics, the future of retail IS bright. It will change, it will evolve and it will probably look different in 10 years than is does today. But the changes will be exciting, won’t stop and will continue to fuel growth. Just ask one of the thousands in attendance at the Big Show when they return from New York City this week.

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