Physical stores remain first choice for shoppers

Oct 18, 2013
A global survey of retail CEOs found there are signs of growing consumer confidence.

Bricks and mortar stores remain the primary focus for growth for the year ahead according to a global survey of retail CEOs.

In the annual survey by Monash University's Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS) on behalf of the World Retail Congress, senior retail executives from around the world were asked for their view of the year ahead.

Research Director of ACRS, Dr Sean Sands said the results showed bricks and mortar stores remain the first choice for shoppers, despite the growing importance of online stores and social media channels such as facebook and twitter.

"Almost two thirds of those interviewed (62 per cent) believed internet sales had become more important in the last 12 months, however, bricks and mortar remains the most important channel for shoppers according to 68 per cent of retailers," Dr Sands said.

"More than half (55 per cent) of those surveyed planned to increase the number of their international stores, with one in three set to increase their overall store footprint, compared to only 20 per cent who planned to decrease store footprint."

The survey also found 33 per cent of the CEOs felt the use of social media had grown in importance since 2012. However, most executives saw social media channels as a tool for building the company's brand, not increasing sales.

Dr Sands said retail CEOs felt there was signs of growing .

"The survey found the global sentiment indicated an overall consumer confidence had nearly tripled in the last 12 months, which is a good sign for retailers after a long period of low consumer confidence," Dr Sands said.

"However, on the down side, retailers in Australia, New Zealand and western Europe reported neutral levels of local consumer confidence. China and Asia remain the most attractive regions for growth."

Retail leaders still continue to believe customer loyalty is the greatest opportunity for their business. Mobile channel growth, and in-store technology were also seen as important opportunities for retailers to increase their market share.

Dr Sands said while the most prominent challenges for 2013 remain economic instability and changes to such as at the most pressing challenges for the year ahead.

"There is continued apprehension and fear about the speed of recovery for economies globally. From a retail resource and planning perspective, there were concerns about government policy having a significant impact on the flexibility of labour forces," Dr Sands said.

"Poor government financial control was also a concern, causing fiscal policy to impact consumer sentiment and flow onto consumer spending.

Dr Sands and fellow researcher Carla Ferrarowill present the full research report at two Retail Insights Breakfast Seminars during December.

Explore further: Being rewarded for loyalty is important

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Challenges and opportunities of omni-channel retailing

Nov 07, 2012

Shoppers are becoming increasingly comfortable interacting with retailers across multiple channels, creating pressure for retailers to offer seamless integration across multiple touch points and giving rise ...

Microsoft to sell Surface at retail stores

Dec 11, 2012

Microsoft said Tuesday it would make its Surface tablet computer available to outside sellers as soon as mid-December, citing interest from retailers as well as consumers.

Thanksgiving steals sales from Black Friday

Nov 25, 2012

Thanksgiving shopping on Thursday took a noticeable bite out of Black Friday's start to the holiday season, as the latest survey found retail sales in stores fell slightly from last year.

Recommended for you

Which foods may cost you more due to Calif. drought

Apr 17, 2014

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices ...

Performance measures for CEOs vary greatly, study finds

Apr 16, 2014

As companies file their annual proxy statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this spring, a new study by Rice University and Cornell University shows just how S&P 500 companies have ...

Investment helps keep transport up to speed

Apr 16, 2014

Greater investment in education and training for employees will be required to meet the future needs of the transport and logistics industry, according to recent reports by Monash University researchers.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.