When retail sales fall flat, what’s on the horizon?

Words like Retail Meltdown. Retail Apocalypse. Retail Decay are sneaking around since 2017 and are sure an often-used term in the times of Covid-19. Obviously, many retailers have problems occurring due to lockdown restrictions and governments asking employees to work from home if possible. This deprives the high street footfall that would normally make up a lot of their revenue. Black Friday and the Christmas period will be a telling time for the future of high street retail and shopping centres.

Isn’t the worst over yet?

It is hard to tell as a rise in infections is being reported, alongside with the testing capacity being increased. It is therefore not easy to make inferences around the statistics. Overall, we have obviously seen an increase in online shopping, but we are also seeing retail start to recover and alongside it, cash use.

However, we also are unfortunately seeing consolidation of overstretched retailers and with it, job losses. But empty spaces will also be filled again with new sellers as government’s recovery strategies are actioned, and once the pandemic if over we expect to see new business models emerge.

We also see a trend towards supporting independent stores and those with local heritage, as people feel that in shopping there, they are directly benefiting their local economy as opposed to a large corporate who’s profits are likely to be moved to offshore investment funds.

We also expect to see radical changes to the way retail real estate is managed and planned. Those at the forefront of retail are trialling VR store experiences which would completely revolutionise how we look at the customer experience, but also will reduce on the amount of floorspace required. While adaptation is necessary, we are certain that the ‘high street’ will live on.

Although many retailers are struggling, many others have opened new locations in 2020

In the US so far, retailers have announced 3,344 store openings so far this year, according to a tracking by Coresight Research.

We are seeing a big growth in grocery, personal care and pharmacy as people become more health conscious…

Retail Sales Fall Flat

Here are some of the big names who are opening new stores: 

In the US – At Home, Lidl, Aldi, Tractor Supply, Five Below, Home Depot, Ikea, Bojangles and more.

In the UK – Aldi, Lidl, Screwfix, Home Bargains, Asda, Co-Op and more.

In Europe – again Aldi and Lidl, Netto, dm, Rossmann, Tedi, Woolworth and more.

Despite retail losses, retail spending is on a slight upswing

Updated figures from the US (published by Statista Research Department), are showing some sectors had been more impacted than others. “Non-essential” retailers such as clothing, accessories and large department stores have been the hardest hit. Alongside this however, these industries have seen a significant upturn in e-commerce business which shows there is still appetite to spend in the market.

The future of retail sales

Retail challenges will always exist but the what does the future look like? Dismal or delightful, it’s up to each business to decide their future. Those who innovate and embrace new technology to improve the customer journey, certainly have a better chance at survival and even growth over the next decade.

Retail automation is also a key piece to the puzzle. Using technology to carry out unnecessary manual tasks leaves employees with more time to focus on their customers – Whether that’s assisting a customer piece together their party outfit or walking a customer through the difference between and LED or an LCD TV.

How is your business adapting? Have you ever looked at your cash cycle – from the POS to the bank – To see what you can optimise?

Tellermate offers a range of retail automation solutions to help address these needs. Our devices improve accuracy, save time, and the software solutions we offer provide the MI you need to reduce your CIT costs.

Let automation help tackle retail challenges

Here’s how we helped a major European electronics retailer improve efficiency in their stores.

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