Original information found in Woodworking Network Almanac.
The retail industry is the nation’s (US) largest private sector employer, contributing $2.6 trillion to the annual GDP. According to the National Retail Federation, there are approximately 3.8 million retail establishments in the U.S., all of which utilize fixtures, flooring, etc.
While the outlook is somewhat optimistic, with sales expected to grow over the next year albeit at a slow pace, improvements in the job market and increases in wages should spur consumers to purchase more goods. Technology is also having an impact, not just with online shopping, but also with helping redefine the in-store experience.
Actions encouraging international shoppers, such as the November announcement that the U.S. and China have agreed to extend Chinese business and tourist visas from one year to 10, can only help the brick-and-mortar businesses. Calling it a win-win situation, Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO noted, “[It will] produce tangible economic benefits for American businesses and workers, especially those in the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors Encouraging more international shoppers to visit the United States to eat at our restaurants, stay at our hotels and shop in our stores is a retail industry priority.”
An estimated $16.9B USD has been spent on retail construction in the past year and a half.
Nearly half of the retailers surveyed by A.R.E. (Association for Retail Environments) said they are planning to spend more next year. Here’s the breakdown: