Retailers Know Their Stores Are In Trouble, New Study From RSR Research Finds

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Retailers Aware Their Stores Are Losing To Online, But Few Know What To Do About It

So far, only the best performers see the advantage in taking the hard steps to modernize stores

Retail Systems Research, LLC today released its findings from its 2016 Benchmark Report, The Retail Store In 2016: Poised For Transformation. The report, based on a survey of 125 retailers, found retailers are painfully aware of how short their in-store shopping experience falls compared to the online experience, but are stymied on what to do about it. The research is available for free download (registration required).

"Not only are there still too many retail stores, but even worse, the lion’s share of today’s stores are relatively uninteresting," reports Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "Retailers agree that the consumer is demanding better, but so far, only the best performers see the advantage in taking the hard steps to modernize stores."

Key Findings include:

  •     The best performers - sales wise – are more likely to say competition from online sources (such as Amazon) is stealing sales away from their stores, more likely to blame their own lack of integration between selling channels, and more likely to cite competitive price transparency across these myriad channels as real problems they must face.
  •     By comparison, their underperforming peers are more content to blame rising minimum wage pressures, an inability to separate their own stores from their competitors’, and most tellingly: increasing consumer price sensitivity (for which is there is little evidence).
  •     More than half of retailers say their Store Operations management has grown accustomed to the way things are, the enterprise is hesitant to add more to store employees’ plates, and it’s not clear that any technology installation beyond the obvious will deliver a quantifiable benefit.
  •     Despite their best intentions – and their rapidly increasing understanding of the problem - just over 50% of retailers see a lot of value in employee-facing technologies, with roughly the same number having either implemented or budgeted for these technologies. We are still a long ways off from physical stores that bring a strong fight to the online experience.

The Retail Store In 2016: Poised For Transformation contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding technologies in retail stores. It also offers baseline recommendations for navigating this brave new world for retailers. The report is part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, is sponsored by Manhattan Associates, is supported by Tyco, and can be downloaded here:

About RSR Research: Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large.

To learn more about RSR, visit

RSR Research, LLC
Linda Wolfe, 774-284-4679

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