West Michigan retail remains strong in midst of evolving landscape

Executive Summary

Today's retail landscape looks a little different than it did a year ago. Over the past year, a number of big-box stores including Younkers and Toys "R" Us announced closures, forcing shopping malls to rethink how to serve today's savvy consumer. 

 Shopping has become more convenient than ever with continued innovation in shipping and distribution, allowing consumers to participate in retail events like Amazon Prime Day and the ability to grocery shop from a smart phone. Local retailer Meijer has adapted to these trends by unveiling its new “Shop and Scan” technology that will allow customers to scan barcodes using their smartphones and bag their groceries as they shop.

Despite news channels flooding with announcements of brick-and-mortar closures and the influence of technology on shopping, physical store sales continue to be strong. In fact, online sales accounted for just 9.5% percent of the total retail sales volume in the U.S. during Q1, according to a preliminary estimate by the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. Shopping at brick-and-mortar locations offers an experience for consumers that cannot be replicated online, and face-to-face interactions continues to drive shoppers to stores. As the culture evolves, the commercial real estate market is also adapting by finding new ways to engage consumers while also providing convenience.

 Click here for the full 2018 Q2 Retail Market Report.