Retailing & Chain Stores Market Research

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Retailing & Chain Stores OVERVIEW

S.
    totaled an estimated $6.22 trillion (on a broad basis) during 2020, according to the U.S.
    Census Bureau.
     (Sales at stores selling general merchandise, apparel, furniture and specialty items, referred to as “GAFO,” totaled $1.24 trillion in 2020.
     GAFO is an important distinction.
     In contrast, retail sales of all types are considered to include automobiles, gasoline and restaurants.) Unfortunately, retailing was one of the industries hardest hit by the global Coronavirus pandemic.
     Customer traffic plummeted at most categories of retail stores that sell non-essential items such as fashion and jewelry.
     Nonetheless, a few categories saw soaring sales increases.
     In the U.S., for example, sales boomed at supermarkets, discount department stores such as Walmart and home improvement centers such as Home Depot.
     Consumer interests, needs and shopping habits changed dramatically.
     Consumers with internet access shifted much of their shopping to online methods.
     Households where people were lucky enough to keep their jobs and had money to spend were investing in goods that made working from home easier and sheltering at home more entertaining. Meanwhile ecommerce sales soared.
     Much of this market share that has moved to ecommerce is a permanent shift.
     For further discussion, see “The Coronavirus' Effect on the Retail Industry.” Competition among retailers has been fierce in recent years, and it will only grow more intense in the near future.
     A massive shakeout of retail stores is underway as part of a retail restructuring—slower traffic at malls

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