The retail industry consists of economic units that are occupied with selling products or supplies for private or household use, generally consisting of clothing and accessories, technology, foodstuff and beverages, home enhancement, pharmaceuticals, and others. In recent times, as developed nations start to come out of recession, their economies make progress, and unemployment rates begin to fall, the market segments are experiencing some improved growth. As consumer spending is the key to the feasibility of any financial system, the strength of the retail industry is an important economic needle.
In the US and Canada, there was positive retail growth over the last quarter. In the United States, job gains and warm weather have supported retail sales. Customers are benefiting from price transparency from online sites as they spend more time in spending online. In Europe, retail sales increased by 0.5%. But due to the debt crisis and austerity measures, consumers are cautious in their spending habits. Hence the Euro zone is expecting a decline of 0.6% in the retail market for the next quarter. In Australia, the consumers are extremely cautious of the global recession and this has resulted in lower spending. So there was a fall of 0.2% month on month in April. In Asia, where there was a dynamic sales in retail sector showed an inclination towards moderate sales indicating a caution towards global outlook uncertainty. Retail sales slowed to 9.5% year over year in Q1 2012. But the retail sales remained strong in Hong Kong, Singapore and China. The top retailers of US are Wal-Mart, Target, The Home Depot, CVS and BestBuy. In the United Kingdom, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Boots, ASDA and Next hold the top rankings. Carrefour, the French leader in the retail market has revenue of $120 billion with 1398 hypermarkets worldwide and a large number of franchises. It has established its status in the Middle East and South America. Retail Market Report
A retailer’s market position speaks about its volume and track record of productively operating its business, showing the company’s capability to react to competitive pressures and its skill to negotiate with suppliers and sustain profitability through a variety of business cycles. The retail industry is capital demanding. They need large investments in fixed assets, which include warehouses, retail outlets and distribution networks. Most retailers are operating in local or regional business; there are a few retailers who have a network of operations worldwide. There is also significant diversity in business risk. Industry Analysis