Retailing & Chain Stores Market Research

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Retailing & Chain Stores OVERVIEW

       Retail, with nearly 15.9 million employees in America alone (more than one out of 10 workers), is one of the largest industries in the world.
     Retail sales in the U.S.
    totaled an estimated $5.485 trillion during 2016, according to Plunkett Research, up about 3% for the year, and up dramatically from only $4.0 trillion during 2009.
     Total sales were $5.330 trillion in 2015 according to the U.S Census Bureau.
     (Sales at stores selling general merchandise, apparel, furniture and specialty items, referred to as “GAFO,” totaled $1.3 trillion in 2015.
     GAFO is an important distinction.
     In contrast, retail sales of all types are considered to include automobiles, gasoline and restaurants.)   Factors that will impact the retail sector during 2017 in the U.S., Europe and most Developed Nations: ·         Surveys show that consumers are focused on increasing their savings and paying down debt.
     This means that a large number of consumers wait to purchase until they can pay cash.
     ·         In the U.S., a significant improvement in the unemployment rate and an improving economy, as of late 2016, point to a reasonably good retail environment in 2017.
     Nonetheless, consumers will remain cautious.
     ·         Consumers, are less interested than in the past in buying clothing and more interested spending on travel, experiences, automobiles and home remodeling or repairs.
     “I want more great experiences and memories, not more things,” has


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