About the Sixth Annual State of the Retail Supply Chain Study
"This is such a dynamic business. To do it really well, you have to be incredibly agile and responsive. You need to quickly and frequently turn data into insight that allows you to make smart business decisions."
The good, the bad, and the downright interesting... that’s the storyline of retailing in 2015. On the good side, fewer transportation bottlenecks boosted inventory availability. The U.S. unemployment rate hit a 7½ year low.
Oil prices fell 30 percent.
And, the rate of inflation dipped to 0.7 percent.
This combination of consumer-friendly factors would seemingly set the stage for robust retail growth.
The bad? That growth never materialized. Retail sales rose only 2.1 percent in 2015, the weakest year since 2009.
Sales actually declined in December as the warm, wet El Niño weather pattern wreaked havoc on winter apparel sales. Stock market volatility did little to help consumer confidence. And, the "R" word is being heard more often as economists suggest that recession risks are rising.
The downright interesting came from, you guessed it, online retailing. Amazon captured 51 cents of every additional dollar spent online during 2015 and is reportedly taking steps to build its own delivery capabilities.
Walmart poured an estimated $900 million into e-commerce technology and fulfillment centers.
And, India is quickly becoming the new e-commerce battleground for global retailers.
Flat sales, rising delivery costs, and online competition create a difficult environment. Yet, we have learned one recurring truth in six plus years of conducting our research – retail supply chain professionals thrive under fire. Their ability to rise to the latest challenges is revealed in this edition of the State of the Retail Supply Chain (SRSC) Report.
To download a copy, please fill out the form above.