New Study From RSR Research: The Future Of Retail Stores Brighter Than Expected

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Retailers see tremendous opportunities for their stores in the near future

Surprisingly few retailers plan to reduce their store counts

Retail Systems Research, LLC today released its findings from its 2018 Retail Store Benchmark Report, From Apocalypse To Renaissance. The report, based on a survey of 182 retailers, found that retailers see tremendous opportunities for their stores in the near future. The research is available for free download (registration required).

"Surprisingly few retailers plan to reduce their store counts," reports Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at RSR Research and co-author of the report. "Instead, retailers believe they can leverage their digital assets to make the store more convenient, personal and inviting. Over-performers in particular recognize the importance of technology in creating this renaissance.”

Key Findings of the research:

  • Consumer price sensitivity continues to place downward pressures on gross margin, leaving the pool of funds available for improvements somewhat limited
  • Retailers’ biggest opportunity comes from using technology to empower store employees with technology. And they know it - 50% believe getting technology rolled out to stores is their greatest opportunity, even within current cost constraints
  • Legacy expectations for in-store technology spend rates still sit in the minds of Wall Street investors. It takes a brave management team to stand up to investors and say, “We are going to over-invest in new technologies until we get up to speed”

The Retail Store In 2018: From Apocalypse To Renaissance contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities, and organizational constraints surrounding store-based operations within retail. It also examines retailers’ budgets and plans for technologies to help solve these problems, and ultimately 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 IBM, 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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