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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Changing Retail Landscape: Incl Impact of COVID-19 – US market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

What is changing in the current retail landscape? Everything! Retailers will continue to invest in tools and technology to offer new or improved forms of shopping convenience to connect with current multichannel customers and welcome new ones. The role of the physical store could evolve to see more retailers use the space as a showroom or fulfillment center to better handle online orders. Ecommerce will continue to be a bright spot for most retail sectors, forcing some to shift attention to this channel in order to stay competitive and stay in business. In 2020, total retail sales are expected to be flat, while ecommerce sales will set new records, extraordinarily jumping 28%.

All reports purchased from the Mintel Store now come with free access to our COVID-19 Global Insights Hub, allowing you to understand how industries and consumer behaviour is changing worldwide.

What does the COVID-19 Global Insights Hub give you access to?

  • Over 450 pieces of research (with more published each week) addressing markets across the globe.
  • Discover how people in countries at different stages of the crisis are adjusting to the ‘new normal’.
  • Trending industries which have seen growth due to the changes in circumstance.
  • Our latest consumer research surveys, allowing you to see customers views right now.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Diana Smith, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the retail industry and economy at large and will continue to force permanent change. Retailers will approach change in phases, remaining nimble enough to accommodate a constantly fluid environment while COVID-19 persists, while at the same time looking ahead to strategically plan for and invest in future opportunities. Consumers will be relentlessly demanding, holding retailers and brands accountable for ensuring safety, being transparent and offering flexibility. Diana Smith
Retail Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary 

            • Top takeaways
              • Market overview
                • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast, including ecommerce, at current prices, 2015-25
                • Figure 2: Total US retail ecommerce sales and forecast, at current prices, 2015-25
              • Impact of COVID-19 on retail and ecommerce
                • Figure 3: Short-, medium-and long-term impact of COVID-19 on retail and ecommerce, August 2020
              • Challenges and opportunities
                • Some retailers will thrive, some won’t survive
                  • Provide assurance relative to shopping safely
                    • Rethink the purpose of the store
                      • Connect with customers through technology
                        • Connect with customers through shared values
                          • Connect with customers through personalization
                            • What it means/what’s next
                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                              • Retail industry faces an uphill battle
                                • eCommerce is the bright spot during the pandemic
                                  • Pandemic has divided the industry
                                    • Recession causes consumers to spend less and try to save more
                                      • Population trends serve as leading indicators for retail’s future
                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                        • Prepandemic expectations for 2020 were positive
                                          • Retail sales tick upward but remain below 2019 levels
                                            • Figure 4: Total 2020 retail sales by month, percentage change from prior month and year, September 2020
                                          • Recovery to prepandemic levels will be slow, could take a few years
                                            • Figure 5: Total US retail sales and forecast, including ecommerce, at current prices, 2015-25
                                          • eCommerce is winning in the pandemic
                                            • Figure 6: Total US retail ecommerce sales and forecast, at current prices, 2015-25
                                            • Figure 7: eCommerce share of total US retail sales, 2015-25
                                        • Market Breakdown

                                          • A mighty few store types dominate retail sales
                                            • Figure 8: Percentage of total retail sales by kind of business*, 2019
                                          • Most sectors are facing declines thus far in 2020
                                            • Year-to-date 2020 sales performance
                                              • Figure 9: Percentage change of total retail sales by kind of business*, January-July 2020 versus 2019, September 2020
                                            • August 2020 sales performance
                                              • Figure 10: US retail sales in August 2020 compared to last month and last year, September 2020
                                            • Electronics, clothing and furniture fast-growing categories for ecommerce; online grocery will reach new heights in 2020
                                              • Figure11: Share of ecommerce sales, by product category, 2016 and 2018
                                                • Figure11: Share of ecommerce sales, by product category, 2016 and 2018
                                              • Most online shopping still done on computers, but mobile devices continue to quickly gain ground
                                                • Figure 12: Typical online shopping device, March 2020
                                            • Market Factors

                                              • Economic factors
                                                • Limited disposable income does not bode well for discretionary categories
                                                  • Figure 13: Financial health, by household income, August 27-September 8, 2020
                                                • The recession continues
                                                  • Consumer confidence and unemployment
                                                    • Figure 14: Consumer confidence and unemployment, January-August 2020
                                                  • Gross domestic product and personal consumption expenditures
                                                    • Figure 15: GDP change from previous period and consumption expenditures, Q1 2007-Q2 2020
                                                  • Disposable personal income
                                                    • Figure 16: Disposable personal income change from previous period, past 12 months, August 2019-July 2020
                                                  • Consumer Price Index
                                                    • Figure 17: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, past 12 months, August 2019-July 2020
                                                  • Population
                                                    • Youth will propel multichannel shopping
                                                      • Figure 18: Population by generation, 2014-24
                                                    • Youngest generations also bring diversity
                                                      • Figure 19: Distribution of generations by race, 2019
                                                      • Figure 20: Distribution of generations by Hispanic origin, 2019
                                                    • Number of households with children has dropped every year over last decade
                                                      • Figure 21: Households, by presence of own children, 2009-19
                                                    • Single-person households on the rise
                                                      • Figure 22: Single-person households, 2008-18
                                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                    • COVID-19 accelerates change
                                                      • Investing in the next normal
                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                          • Enhancing omnichannel experience
                                                            • Providing emotional and physical support
                                                              • Figure 23: Zappos Customer Service Anything line
                                                              • Figure 24: TOMS crisis text line
                                                              • Figure 25: Lululemon strategies to reach at-home consumer
                                                            • Supporting small businesses
                                                              • Exploring new selling concepts
                                                                • Figure 26: Westfield Valley Fair Open Air Market
                                                              • Adding new advertising revenue streams
                                                              • What to Watch

                                                                • Omnichannel evolution means continued change
                                                                  • Tools and technology deployment
                                                                    • Figure 27: Usage of and interest in emerging technologies, March 2020
                                                                    • Figure 28: Oakbrook Center in Illinois, FIT:MATCH sizing tool
                                                                    • Figure 29: Fleet Feet virtual fitting offering
                                                                  • Fulfillment improvements
                                                                    • Figure 30: Interest in delivery enhancements, March 2020
                                                                  • Emerging forms of commerce
                                                                    • Figure 31: Purchase incidence via social media, March 2020
                                                                    • Figure 32: Purchase incidence via social media, by generation, March 2020
                                                                    • Figure 33: Purchase incidence via smart speaker, March 2020
                                                                    • Figure 34: Purchase incidence via smart speaker, by generation, March 2020
                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Multichannel shopping is the norm, not a trend
                                                                    • Curbside pickup is a big winner amid COVID-19
                                                                      • Overhauling the store…again
                                                                        • “Clean shopping” and other factors emerge as retailer drivers
                                                                          • Finding balance will be key in the continued evolution of omnichannel retail
                                                                          • Shopping Approach by Category

                                                                            • What consumers are shopping for
                                                                              • Figure 35: Products shopped for, March 2020
                                                                              • Figure 36: Spending priorities, August 27-September 8, 2020
                                                                            • How consumers were shopping prepandemic
                                                                              • Figure 37: Multichannel shopping versus single-channel shopping, by item, March 2020
                                                                            • Searching
                                                                              • Figure 38: Search method: in-store greater than online, by item, March 2020
                                                                              • Figure 39: Search method: online greater than in-store, by item, March 2020
                                                                            • Purchasing
                                                                              • Figure 40: Purchasing behaviors: online versus in-store, by item, March 2020
                                                                            • COVID-19 impact: less in-store, more online
                                                                              • Figure 41: Shopping channel shifts in light of COVID-19, by gender and age, July 2020
                                                                              • Figure 42: Percentage of shopping conducted online versus in-store, July 2020
                                                                              • Figure 43: Percentage of shopping conducted online, before and during COVID-19, by generation, July 2020
                                                                          • Shopping Behaviors

                                                                            • Shoppers seek to simplify and shorten path to purchase
                                                                              • Figure 44: Shopping behaviors, March 2020
                                                                              • Figure 45: Shopping behaviors, by generation, March 2020
                                                                            • Deeper dive into BOPIS usage
                                                                              • Figure 46: BOPIS shopping experience, March 2020
                                                                            • Deeper dive into mobile usage in-store
                                                                              • Figure 47: Reasons for using mobile device in-store, March 2020
                                                                              • Figure 48: Mobile payment usage amid COVID-19, by gender and age, July 2020
                                                                            • Other shopping behavior changes in light of COVID-19
                                                                                • Figure 49: Shopping shifts in light of COVID-19, April and July 2020
                                                                                • Figure 50: Spending priorities in light of COVID-19, by gender and age, July 2020
                                                                                • Figure 51: Shopping with values in light of COVID-19, by gender and age, July 2020
                                                                            • How Physical Retail is Evolving

                                                                              • Reenvisioning the store’s purpose
                                                                                • Figure 52: CVS HealthHUB store concept
                                                                                • Figure 53: IKEA Queens store announcement
                                                                                • Figure 54: Announcement of Hy-Vee and DSW partnership
                                                                              • Consumers want to learn, relax and be themselves when shopping in stores
                                                                                  • Figure 55: Foot Locker “Power” store format in Compton, California
                                                                                  • Figure 56: Favored in-store experiences, by generation, March 2020
                                                                                • COVID-19 impact
                                                                                  • Figure 57: Comfort level with various activities amid COVID-19, August 12-21, 2020
                                                                              • Retailer Drivers

                                                                                • Going beyond the basics
                                                                                  • Basics
                                                                                    • Tech-savviness
                                                                                      • Personalization and flexibility
                                                                                        • Corporate responsibility
                                                                                          • Figure 58: Retailer drivers, pre-COVID-19, March 2020
                                                                                        • COVID-19 brings new drivers to the forefront
                                                                                            • Figure 59: Retailer drivers, amid COVID-19, July 2020
                                                                                            • Figure 60: Sephora health and hygiene policy
                                                                                            • Figure 61: Nordstrom Welcome Back video
                                                                                        • Attitudes toward Omnichannel Offerings

                                                                                          • Consumers want consistency when it comes to prices
                                                                                            • Figure 62: Attitude toward pricing, by gender and age, March 2020
                                                                                          • Automation in retail generally supported
                                                                                            • Figure 63: Attitudes toward automation, by generation, March 2020
                                                                                          • Clienteling is the future
                                                                                            • Figure 64: Attitudes toward personalization, by generation, March 2020
                                                                                          • Retailer examples
                                                                                            • Figure 65: Neiman Marcus, Your Neiman’s introductory post
                                                                                            • Figure 66: Nordstrom virtual style consultations
                                                                                            • Figure 67: Burton Snowboards takes on digital transformation
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                            • Sales data
                                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                    • Terms
                                                                                                    • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Total US retail sales and forecast, including ecommerce, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Total US retail ecommerce sales and forecast, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast, including ecommerce, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Total US retail ecommerce sales and forecast, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Percentage of total retail sales by kind of business – Grand total and with some sector exclusions, 2019

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