The retail sales growth trend continues through August for retailers as retail and food service sales rose 6.6% from August of last year.
Sales at retail stores and restaurants rose 0.1% from the previous month to $509 billion in August. Total sales for the period of June 2018 through August 2018 period were up 6.5% from the same period from the previous year. Additionally, during the June 2018 through July 2018 period, the increase in sales rose 0.7% ahead of it’s 0.5% forecast.
Apparel and clothing accessory retailer sales rose a very healthy 6.3% from the same period last year. Furniture and home furniture sales increased by 3.5%, food and beverage stores by 4.3%, and finally, health and personal care sales increased by 4.9%.
As retail sales continue growth over a year-to-year period, we learn that consumers still prefer the in-store experience as a majority of these retail sales continue to take place in the physical locations of stores. The in-store experience will remain essential to the retail industry, especially as retailers continue to create a unique customer experience that drives sales. In fact, it will become their brands key differentiator in retail.
Here are a few examples of retail stores that are leading the way with their in-store experience:
ULTA Beauty – The national American beauty retailer saw a 23.7% increase in net sales in 2016. With more than 970 stores throughout the U.S., ULTA has quickly become one of the fastest-growing beauty retailers. ULTA differentiates itself due to their in-store experience and in-store services they offer including hair, skin, and brow treatments.
Lowe’s – This major U.S. home improvement store continues to see sales growth in 2018, with a whopping rise of 7.1% in Q2. With more than 2,100 stores across the U.S., Lowe’s continues to improve their in-store experience by launching their new in-store navigation app with AR technology. The app works with Google’s technology to provide indoor mapping which will allow customers to search and quickly find items in-store.
Trader Joe’s – The national grocery store chain is known for their experience of easy shopping and brand selection. With more than 470 stores throughout the nation, Trader Joe’s smaller in-store footprint provides consumers with an easy to navigate in-store and customer service helps create the ideal in-store experience for customers. Based on a survey of more than 110,000 U.S. adults, out of sixteen (16) food and drug retailers, Trader Joe’s took the top spot.
Rebecca Minkoff – Luxury brands such as the U.S. brand, Rebecca Minkoff continues to set the bar when it comes to the in-store experience. In short, the concierge-type is nearly impossible to replicate online. With 12 stores around the globe, each store has smart mirrors in fitting rooms that allows shoppers to browse for other sizes and products that may complement what they are trying on. In addition, the smart mirror suggests new styles to the consumer, creating a unique and pleasant shopping experience for the consumer.