Physical stores are still key to retail companies, with a majority planning to open new branches this year according to a new report. Location intelligence company Geoblink has published The Future of Retail Intelligence 2019, based on the analysis of survey responses from more than 600 retail professionals in the UK, US, and Spain.
The objective of the research was to monitor the state of the industry and identify the most prominent trends for the next year. While 46 per cent of retailers were closing stores in 2018, 68 per cent were planning to open new stores in 2019. The contradictory figures are due to stores being in the wrong location, a reason given by 37 per cent of participants for branch closures; 87 per cent said that store location is a priority issue for their business.
More than half of respondents (56 per cent) said that physical stores were their most effective sales channel in 2018, although 65 per cent conceded that they do feel threatened by online spending and 72 per cent have opened their own online stores.
Retailers increasingly value data, to help them understand market conditions and to develop customer-driven strategies. Internal sales data (79 per cent). In-store shopper behavioural data (65 per cent), and data such as customer address and loyalty card information (55 per cent) are the most valuable for evaluating performance.