IHL: Retailers expect strong sales growth in 2018; new stores, remodels up

The nation’s retailers are bullish on the new year.

North American retailers expect a 6.2% increase in sales in 2018, according to research from IHL Group. The report found that retailers are increasing the number of stores in 2018 by an average of 5.6%, with planned remodel of stores expected to rise more than 5%.

IT spend is also up. Store level IT Investment is expected to rise 5.8% this year over 2017 levels.

“Despite what the headlines might say, retail grew over $220 billion in the U.S. and Canada in 2017,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. “Retailers are projecting even stronger growth in 2018, including 4.8% growth in sales at stores.”

IHL’s 2018 Retail Transformation Study looks at retail sales growth at store level, e-commerce, mobile commerce, and how retailers plan to increase both stores and IT spending to meet customer demands and effectively compete with Amazon and Walmart. The research included 123 retail senior executives surveyed, most with annual sales over $1 billion.