One of the most temperamental markets we have, the retail space is dictated to by so many outside factors that its success or failure often has little to do with its own efforts directly. The first place to suffer when the economy is uncertain, people are obviously less likely to engage in what may appear to be frivolous spending if what’s coming in to their account isn’t as strong as it could be.
With huge factors such as Brexit and the rise of online shopping completely altering the landscape, consumer behaviour when it comes to both the high street and surfing online changes as a result. An obstacle for not only consumers to consider, but those who have related Forex interests such as traders OANDA, it’s an industry can cause ripples in places you wouldn’t usually expect.
State Of Retail In 2018
2018 was a challenging year for retailers, as despite consumer confidence rising, growth in spending has not. There was the predicted fall in inflation, but wage growth has also taken a hit, essentially squeezing consumers in to similar levels of financial pressure, not allowing them the disposable income to interact in the retail sector more.
Additional factors such as the infamous Beast From The East affected the first three months of the year, with the heavy snow and ice completely reducing both footfall and supply chains, which lead to depleted levels of stock and interest. However, later on in the year, the sales on offer did provoke a strong uptake, which directly contradicted what many experts had been anticipating.
One unforeseen boost was the hot summer, World Cup fever and popular Royal Wedding, which all combined to boost the food and drink market, with BBQs and alcohol proving particularly popular.
What’s To Come In 2019?
The high street will have to continue its evolution in order to remain relevant in an increasingly digital landscape, but as signs showed in 2018, it’s an area of the sector that’s far from dead. While there have been closures and job losses, these aren’t entirely down to just consumer behaviour, but other factors including rising costs and technological disruptions.
The online market place is likely to continue its dominance and growth, with further sales periods in January and Easter now joined by the Black Friday and Cyber Monday phenomenon’s, which have now all begun to take a real hold and provoke large spends across those periods.
Nicole Hicks a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto but travels much of the year. Nicole has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Nicole is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing.