While holiday retail sales will remain flat or only slightly up from last year, emerging consumer buying trends will have significant implications for retailers, according to a new survey from Booz & Co.
As of Sept. 15, California became the eighth state in which Amazon.com will levy sales taxes on purchases made by residents in that state. Pennsylvania joined that group two weeks prior. Add to that the five states that don’t have any sales taxes, and that’s 13 states where national brick-and-click retailers are competing on a level playing field with the pure-play online retail juggernaut.
As of Sept. 1, some 1.2 million Pennsylvanians will be able to go to bed at night secure in the knowledge that their jobs won't be drowned out by some online juggernaut. And by the middle of September, 3.1 million Californians will be able to breathe that same sigh of relief.
Nothing beats the experience of shopping in a store: touching and feeling the merchandise, enjoying the ambiance of the store with the Muzak playing in the background, engaging with the retailer's wonderful customer service representatives and then pulling up that product on Amazon.com and clicking "check out."
The fact that 3-out-of-every-4 smartphone and tablet owners use their devices to help them shop is downright frightening. Because the real question then becomes, "Where are those consumers making that purchase — is it at retail or with someone whose name starts with 'www.'?"
During the 2011 holiday season, the top retail applications and websites combined — including Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Walmart — reached nearly 60% of smartphone owners, according to Nielsen.
Optimism, skepticism, confidence and concern were among the range of emotions shared by Walmart suppliers who participated in the second annual Walmart Supplier Survey conducted by Drug Store News’ sister publication Connecting Northwest Arkansas.
There’s a tremendous upside for retailers and suppliers, but that upside will come from doing things differently than in years past, as well as grappling with fragmentation. Those were a few of the key messages Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer of Kantar Retail, had for attendees of Monday morning’s business session at NACDS Marketplace in Boston.