Nielsen unveils retail forecast report at conference

LAS VEGAS Drug stores will experience an increase in dollar sales but will suffer share losses by 2015, research firm Nielsen projected in its new retail forecast, which was unveiled at its Consumer 360 Conference in Las Vegas.

While the Nielsen Retail 2015 Forecast predicted that both mass supercenters and e-commerce would be the big winners by dollar share gains, growing by a combined five share points between 2009 and 2015, the report also underscored how technology, marketing trends and retail formats are converging to redefine how consumer packaged good retailers and manufacturers interact with consumers. One example of this, the report said, was the use of smart phones to engage consumers and help them make better shopping choices, a trend already underway. According to Nielsen, smart phone penetration stands at 23% of all mobile subscribers and is expected to overtake feature phones in the United States by the end of 2011. Nielsen predicts that by 2015, smart phones will be the primary enabler of consumer shopping engagements and new technology innovations will generate additional opportunities for retailers and manufacturers.

Among the forecast's predictions included:

  • Warehouse club, dollar store and pet store will also grow share positions
  • Supermarkets will continue to lose share, but at a declining rate
  • Other key consumer packaged goods channels, including drug stores, mass merchandisers and convenience stores, will grow dollar sales but will suffer share losses.

“Today’s big players will only grow bigger,” said Hale. “Industry change will grow faster and more intense in the next five years, requiring advanced, future-focused change management skills among CPG professionals.

“When technology enables consumers to quickly locate the best price in their area, retailers will be forced to compete and differentiate themselves through factors other than price,” added Hale. “We’re at the beginning of a whole new world when it comes to consumer online and social marketing, and companies need to be developing and updating their digital and social media strategies now to remain competitive.”

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