It has been a while I have read this very good article on the Internetretailer.com website. As you know, I am a fervent supporter of the multichannel approach. This article is great because it shows how well US retailers have adapted their strategy to the growth of ecommerce. First and foremost, which may not be highlighted in the article, US retailers have embraced e-commerce. The largest ones, even though they remain average challenger on the Internet market, have been able to grow their sales and their share of sales on the web those past few years.
As they have kept their store counts steady for most of them, they have searched their growth online. Obviously, as brick and mortar markets are already saturated, the best and most efficient way to grow it to look for online growth.
This fact is clearer on the chart below.
Square feet are shrinking, to be more efficient. Does that mean there are no future for brick and mortar new retail real estate? I don't think so. Obviously, in mature retail business like grocery retailing for example, market saturation will be hard to fight against. But we have seen those past few years new retailer that are working on shopping experience and new ways to approach categories thriving.
What is for sure is that, in mature markets, the Internet is the new playland.