If Retail Is Your Digital Signage Vertical, The Numbers Aren’t Looking Great

June 5, 2017 by Dave Haynes

When I ask digital signage solutions providers about the verticals they chase, most will mention retail, but few say that’s where they are highly-focused. Good thing, given that the scale of retail is not tipping the right way.

A Business Insider story notes Credit Suisse research work that suggests retailers are closing stores in the U.S. at a clip that would exceed what happened in 2008 in the recession. “About 2,000 store closures have been announced just within the last six weeks, bringing the total number of planned closures this year to nearly 5,100. That number is expected to keep growing, and reach more than 8,600 before the end of the year,” according to Credit Suisse.

“This is a death spiral,” John M. Clapp, a professor at the University of Connecticut’s Center for Real Estate, told Business Insider. “Once a department store goes vacant that tends to be contagious because all those middle-mall stores — the nail salons and the jewelry stores — they are all depending on the traffic coming from the bigger retail stores.”

The U.S. has 23.5 square feet of retail space per person, compared with 16.4 square feet in Canada and 11.1 square feet in Australia, the next two countries with the most retail space per capita, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings.

There are, of course, some retailers that are going in the opposite direction and expanding like crazy. But the general trend is not good if your software and solutions business is predicated on winning lots of large-scale rollouts with retailers.

photo credit: Nicholas Eckhart Former Jo-Ann University Square via photopin (license)

  1. Tim Flavin says:

    I’m holding out hope. Retailers are thinning out, but the ones who survive will likely differentiate on customer experience, which is largely tech-driven. Convenience as a traffic driver will eventually fall to e-commerce, so retailers who want to thrive should create compelling destinations and experiences. So…fewer stores, but more and better displays in the stores that remain. If we’re lucky, the two will square. No guarantees, or course….

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