• Weekly Retail Update: May 8, 2017

  • May 8, 2017
Weekly Retail Update

Retailers Take Steps to Compete with ‘Amazon Effect’

According to the “2016 Home Delivery and Final Mile Services Report,” from AlixPartners, 75% of online shoppers consider free shipping a huge benefit when it comes to making purchases online. Many retailers struggle to keep up with the costs associated with free shipping, but many are taking steps to keep their business competitive. Footwear retailers have been the most aggressive in this initiative boasting the quickest average delivery time. Specialty retailers are also trying to make steps to compete by offering free shipping with minimum purchase. “Our perspective is that specialty retailers are slowly adapting to this choppy climate, providing trend at a value but free shipping at a slower pace,” the report explained. (CSA)

Overall Retail Sales Fell 0.2% in March

According to the Commerce Department, retail sales fell for a second month in a row, following February’s big drop. Economists had forecaster a fall of 0.1%, but retail sales fell shorter than expected. Excluding “automobiles, gasoline, building materials, and food services,” other retail sectors saw a 0.5% rebound in sales. The slow moving sales are largely attributed to the late distribution of income tax refund checks to consumers. (CNBC)

Retail Recession Will Hit Local Economies Hard

According to Mark Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia Business School, the retail recession isn’t just affecting brands, but also consumers. As stores close their doors, they are also laying off employees. Those employees in turn will stop spending, causing a slow ripple effect in the economy. “This is creating a slow-rolling crisis,” Cohen told Business Insider. “The people that work in retail stores will lose their jobs, then spend less money in retail stores because they are no longer employed. That creates a cascade of economic challenges.” (Business Insider)

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About Holly Pels

Holly Pels is the Content Strategy Manager at RICS. When she isn’t planning out the awesome content you see on the RICS site, you can find her playing soccer, baking, or drinking champagne.