The term ‘retail apocalypse’ gained widespread use amid the massive number of closures of brick-and-mortar retail stores due to the rapid growth of e-commerce, changing consumer patterns, and economic circumstances . In North America and Europe, this phenomenon has crippled traditional shopping formats such as malls, high street retail, and department stores. In the past years, there has been a decline in the number of department stores as well as malls across these regions. Now more than ever, retailers are seeing the need to focus on turning their stores into experiential spaces, as a way of getting customers to walk through their doors once again.
Certain sectors of the industry have proved more resilient to these trends, however. Convenience stores and dollar stores in the United States are examples. Due to the worsened economic circumstances faced by consumers around the world in 2022, consumer spending remained strong at value chains, such as Dollar General.
In-store retail will continue to represent the largest share of retail sales worldwide, and both online and in-store sales are forecast to grow. U.S convenience stores have seen constant in-store sales growth. Discount stores account for just over 40 percent of total food retail in Germany, one of the leaders in the segment. However, department store sales growth was forecast to fall in the UK, while in the U.S. sales have shown a sharp downward trend since the beginning of the 2000s.
Fueled by consumer demand for food and non-retail services like health care, shopping centers are shifting their strategy towards offering a more varied mix of retailers and moving away from anchoring to major department stores . Department stores like J.C. Penney, along with other U.S. mall-based retailers, closed thousands of stores in the U.S., as the downward trend in the industry’s sales continued. However, department stores are adopting innovative approaches to attract consumers.
Convenience stores, department stores, and malls are increasing their efforts to enter digital channels to provide a fully integrated experience. In 2021, top department stores and discounters, like Walmart and Target, ranked amongst the leading brands with the highest e-commerce sales and had some of the most popular mobile shopping apps in the U.S. Meanwhile, convenience stores worldwide are establishing delivery services using third-party operators to expand their customer reach.
While Amazon leads the way in e-commerce sales, Walmart is the champion of physical retail, and had the highest retail revenue by a distance in the 2020/21 fiscal year. The United States is home to the world’s top warehouse clubs. Costco, for example, operates over 800 stores worldwide. In January 2022 alone, U.S. warehouse clubs and superstores generated almost 50 billion U.S. dollars. Convenience store leaders include 7-Eleven, Oxxo in Latin America, and the Canadian brand Circle K.
Statista offers a wide range of statistics on general merchandise including convenience stores and gas stations, shopping centers, department stores, discount and dollar stores, supercenters and hypermarkets, and warehouse clubs. In terms of convenience stores, statistics on frequency of visits, sales, and the number of stores are provided. Data on shopping centers include the largest and busiest malls, vacancy rates, as well as information on shopping center operators. Regarding department stores, discounter and dollar stores, and supercenter and hypermarkets, statistics about industry leaders and their financial performance are included. Finally, the warehouse club section comprises information on the main players and their key facts.