Retailers Told to Broaden Their Horizons
Retail executives and economists at the World Retail Congress
in Berlin, Germany are not looking for Europe or the U.S. to fall into a double-dip
recession. That said, many are predicting slow growth for the foreseeable future
and think it’s time to look to developing markets to spur expansion.
"The retail industry has grown too rapidly and has increased capacity
far more than demand over the last decade and now we’re left with too many
stores, too many retailers and certainly too many shopping centers," Dr.
Ira Kalish, director of global research at Deloitte, said of the U.S. retail
Stuart Rose, chairman of Marks & Spencer, said the current economic
environment does not concern him as much as the recession in the 1970s did.
"Retailers have got to be more efficient, got to innovate and got to
be confident," he said.
Dr. Kalish said retailers will be looking to use
cash on hand to expand through acquisitions in markets such as Brazil, China,
India and Russia.
Mr. Rose said an alternative to going headlong into a new
market is to test the waters through e-commerce first.
Online is "already
our largest store" and "the internet will
be the advance guard into new markets."
Discussion Questions: Do you expect to see substantially more global expansion
on the part of U.S. retailers? Do you favor the online or acquisition route for
moving into foreign markets?
- Digital revolution holds the key for retail, delegates told – RetailWeek/World
Retail Congress 2010
- Retailers eye M&A, emerging markets to spur growth – Reuters
- Retail leaders discount double-dip recession – Retail Gazette