• Service: Advisory
  • Industry: Retail
  • Type: Benchmarking study, Business and industry issue, Survey report, White paper
  • Date: 6/7/2012

Retail Industry Outlook Survey: Modest Gains Keep Cautious Optimism in Style 

The retail sector continues to face a demanding market environment that requires companies to adjust and actively manage change that may impact sales and performance. It was in that context that participants were asked to assess business conditions, identify areas of growth and investment, estimate a time line for a full economic recovery, and identify factors that may help or hinder the economy moving forward.
KPMG’s Retail practice recently released a new publication entitled Retail Industry Outlook Survey: Modest Gains Keep Cautious Optimism in Style. The 2012 Retail Industry Outlook Survey reflects the responses of 100 retail sector executives from large ($100 million+ annual revenue), U.S.-based companies.. The report compares the responses of the participants around current business conditions, areas of growth and investment, and factors that may help or hinder economic recovery, with the responses from a similar survey conducted in the second quarter of 2011.

According to KPMG’s 2012 retail survey, retail executives are cautiously optimistic about the future business outlook, expecting continued modest improvements in revenue and hiring over the next year. However, they are quite guarded about its prospects in the longer term, not anticipating a substantial U.S. economic recovery until 2014 or beyond. While positive momentum continues to slowly build in the sector, executives plan to increase spending in areas of priority such as information technology, including data analytics, and digital marketing channels. Online shopping, social media platforms, e-mail campaigns, and mobile technologies are clearly on their radar due to the significant impact each is having on their businesses. Looking ahead, the vast majority of survey respondents foresee continued sector growth over the next year, with revenue increases being largely driven by the ability to add and retain customers.