Nadine Sharara of U.K.-based retailer Thomas Pink is optimistic that the industry will continue to improve for the rest of 2013. “We’re optimistic for retail for the rest of 2013,” says Sharara, who serves as head of e-commerce. “Consumers are beginning to spend again and we’re confident Thomas Pink are in a position to take advantage of that through our Single Customer View approach.”
The retail sectors in the United States and Europe saw improving sales during the second quarter of 2013, giving investors a sign that the economies of both regions are undergoing modest recoveries. In the U.S., retail landlords saw declining vacancies in retail space, according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal.
“The average vacancy rate at U.S. retail property in the second quarter fell to its lowest level in more than three years to 10.5 [percent], down from 10.6 [percent] in the first quarter,” according to real-estate research firm Reis Inc. “Asking rent increased to $19.19 a square foot from $19.13 in the first quarter.”
The average vacancy rate at U.S. malls was at 8.3 percent at the end of the second quarter, the lowest rate in more than four years and down from 8.9 percent one year ago, according to the report by Reis Inc. Additionally, strip malls ended the quarter with a 10.5 percent vacancy rate, down from 10.8 percent a year ago.
In the European Union, retail sales volume increased by 1.0 percent in 17 EU core countries, and by 1.2 percent across all 27 EU member nations.
Thomas Pink is aggressively pursuing business by offering clothing discounts for online shoppers. Additionally, it is offering free shipping within the U.K. for Internet orders exceeding $75 (USD). The company believes that stores and retail chains that have an online presence should focus on the user experience. “If you’re a retailer, [be] willing to embrace multi-channel and [recognize] [that] the customer views your website, stores and apps as one and [they demand] a consistent experience throughout,” says Sharara.
Some retail chains are offering online price-matching designed to keep value-conscious customers given the state of the
In the past couple of years, manufacturers have become more creative in offering sales and deals to entice consumers to buy their products. Such moves can benefit their distributors and retail partners through higher sales.