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Growth is Key Industry Issue for 2006

New York City, Retailers will be focusing on accelerated growth this year, according to research by the National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation and BearingPoint, a leading global management and technology consulting firm.

The study, “Retail Horizons: Benchmarks for 2005,” was unveiled on Tuesday at the NRF’s annual convention in New York City. It revealed that the majority of retailers cited their mission of growth as a priority initiative. Close to three-quarters (71%) of retailer executives listed growing existing same-store sales as their top priority.

“We are now seeing retailers refocus their efforts on growth initiatives in an effort to increase sales, expand their consumer base and retain customer loyalty, “ said Tracy Mullin, president and CEO, NRF.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Retail companies with an on-line presence nearly doubled to 94% in 2005, up from barely 50% in 2004
  • Customer-focused decision-making continues to gain momentum, as 13% of respondents had more than a quarter of their field-management compensation tied to customer satisfaction results.
  • The study suggested several approaches retailers could take to provide competitive advantage and generate robust prospects for profitability. These include:

  • Differentiate through compelling and relevant assortments that exceed customers’ expectations
  • Understand customers and provide the right combination of products and services in right locations to earn customer loyalty
  • Integrated personalization on Web sites is essential in order to obtain and retain the more valuable multichannel shopper
  • Invest in and embrace emerging information technology, including POS and forecasting and planning technologies
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