What’s Trending in the World of Retail?

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While you’re busy making sure that your store is operating at its highest potential (which you definitely should be doing!), you might be missing out on some of the latest retail news stories. Staying up to date on the news will help you stay ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing in the world of retail. Read on to learn more about some of the latest retail news stories we’ve been following at SPAR!

Retail Sales Grow in June

For the fourth month in a row, retail sales rose during June, up around 0.4%. This increase was higher than the 0.1% predicted by economists, and a variety of goods combined with motor vehicle purchases helped to bring the June increase higher than expected. During the first quarter of 2019, consumer spending was growing at an extremely slow rate, and these recent increases are a promising sign that the rest of the year may bring retail sales growth at a faster pace.

Macy’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods Begin Unique Collaboration

Retailers are always looking for ways to innovate and bring in more customers, and Macy’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods are taking this a step further by working together to redefine retail collaboration. Macy’s began experimenting with “Story” in 2018- an experimental retail concept that set a stage of sorts inside Macy’s stores to feature different themed products. With the help of Dick’s, they’ll be expanding these efforts to create an “Outdoor Story” in Macy’s stores, which will feature goods and apparel from Dick’s. This collaboration will give Macy’s shoppers access to products they might not have been expecting to find, and gives both stores the opportunity to expand their reach to both new and returning customers.

IKEA to Close Only US Factory

Most Ikea shoppers are aware of the store’s Swedish origins, but the popular furniture retailer is about to get a little more distant. Ikea announced this week that by the end of the year, they will be stopping production at their only US factory in Danville, Virginia, and moving all operations to Europe. The company cites the reduced price of raw materials overseas as their reason for the move- the Virginia plant focuses mainly on the production of wood shelves and storage units. The company hasn’t yet stated which country will be the home of their new factory, but Poland, Russia, and Sweden already serve as bases for Ikea’s production. Unfortunately, this move will result in the loss of 300 jobs, and the company’s site manager has said that they will be doing everything they can to help their employees seek out new jobs and training opportunities.

Retail Fun Fact – Starcourt Mall

It’s been a couple of weeks, so if you’re a Stranger Things fan, you’ve probably finished season 3 and are already looking forward to the next chapter of this popular Netflix series. The Starcourt Mall, which served as one of the main locations throughout the newest season, was more than just a set- it was built inside the Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, Georgia. Although the 80s storefronts are in the process of being dismantled, it’s interesting to know that a real retail space could be transformed into one of the most popular hangout spots in Hawkins.

SPAR’s Take

With the ongoing economic concerns in the USA – any growth is good growth in the retail sector – so these numbers are good news!  The Ikea move is disappointing and we hope they have a change of mind.

The Macy’s and Dick’s experiment looks to us to be a risky one.  Both sell major brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and others – how will this shake out in the end – tough to tell.  Looking at the partnerships that Kohl’s has been starting to appear more beneficial in the long-term.

And finally, another use for a mall – this won’t be the last time we hear about alternative propositions in malls – stay tuned for shared office space, remodels and re-usage – it’s already started and that trend appears to be long-term.

Comprehensive Retail Services and Solutions from SPAR

At SPAR, we know retail inside and out. With years of experience in retail merchandising, our team is proud to provide comprehensive solutions to keep your store up to date and ahead of your competition, 24/7. Whether you are in need of assembly & installation services, merchandising solutions, programmatic services, or help with your store sets and remodels, SPAR’s team will ensure that your store has the support and resources it needs to thrive. To learn more about everything SPAR can do for your retail store, please contact us today!