U.S. Retail Industry
The retail industry is a sector of the economy that is comprised of individuals and companies engaged in the selling of finished products to end user consumers. The United States has well-established distribution channels for all types of retail companies. The retail services industry provides an openly competitive environment that fosters strong business operations and spurs innovations that increase efficiency and reliability. In 2013, retail sales in the United States generated over 4.5 trillion U.S. dollars to the economy.
In today’s retail environment, the phrase “customer is king” has never been more valid. They are better informed, more interactive and more selective than ever before. When price alone is no longer an assured differentiator, the experience must win out. Superior service, convenience, personalization, speedy delivery, and choice are what drive every sale and secure repeat business. In response, retailers, large and small, are turning to transformative technology and business model innovation to build omni-channel environments which seamlessly serve the empowered consumer, in-store, online, and on-the-go.
The retail and consumer sector continues to be driven largely by food and beverage transactions. 2013 saw the most positive value growth for the consumer foodservice industry between 2008-2013, however, improvement from the 2009 recession has not matched recovery from previous recessions in terms of the restaurant industry.
Because retail depends so vitally on the strength of the economy, and factors like job growth and interest rates, the economy in general will have to become healthy again before the retail sector can rebound fully. Particularly, retail sales related to homes, home improvement services and furniture need a rebound in the real estate market in order to turn around.