Almost everyone on the planet participates in the retail industry in some way every day. Any sale that is related to a product exchanging hands is considered to be part of this industry. This means the clothes you’re wearing, the furniture you have, and even the favorite movie you just bought on DVD are all part of this industry.
Retail Sales Trends
The total amount of retail sales in the United States alone was $4.7 trillion in 2011.
Total spending for this period was up 8% over spending that happened in 2010. Most astonishingly, however, is the fact that a majority of retail sales occur in just 4 or 5 weeks at the end of the year for the Christmas holiday.
3 Essential Key Facts About the Retail Industry You Must Know
1. The largest 81 companies in the world, without regard to the type of industry that they are part of, are located in the United States.
2. 50% of the largest retail companies on the planet are located in the United States.
3. The world’s largest retail chain is Walmart
Takeaway: The retail industry is an ultra-competitive industry that is fueled by sales and deals. This was proven by JCPenney when they attempted to promote a fair-and-square pricing structure. Consumers don’t want to pay a fair, competitive price when it comes to their retail shopping. They want a rock-bottom deal and they’re willing to shop virtually anywhere to get that crazy good deal. People can joke about Walmart all they want – the fact remains that it is ranked #1 by far because of that fact.
Other Facts About the Retail Industry to Consider
1. Amazon is the top rated e-commerce platform that doesn’t have a physical storefront to promote retail sales. They are ranked #16 in terms of total sales globally within the retail industry.
2. Bass Pro Shops was the only retail outlet to drop out of the Top 250 in global retail sales in the last 12 months.
3. More than 1.8 million jobs are expected to be added in the US economy by 2020 thanks to the retail industry.
4. 48% of the total retail industry workforce are women.
5. Minorities are well represented as employees within the retail industry as well. Nearly 11% of the workforce is African-American, almost 15% were of Hispanic descent, and almost 5% of the workforce is of Asian ancestry. Combined, minorities make up one-third of the total workforce.
6. The average hourly wage for a cashier in the retail industry was just $9.06 in 2011. That’s less than the minimum wage of some US states.
7. 13% of retail workers who work full time are on public insurance in the United States.
Takeaway: The only problem within the retail industry is its ability to provide living wages for people, especially in the United States. That was the purpose of minimum wage laws, but the minimum wage provides less value today than it did even just two decades ago when the wage was barely $4 per hour. There are tremendous opportunities within this field, certainly, but profits don’t seem to be going into wages. They seem to be going into expanding locations and products to further increase sales.