Retail Executives Predict Online Shopping, Mobile Internet Will Drive Industry Recovery

According to a recent survey by accounting firm KPMG LLP, retail industry executives predict an improved business picture in 2010 and expect to see better revenue, profitability, and an improving job picture in 2011. About two-thirds of the executives polled for the survey stated that overall business conditions in retail are better than a year ago--in last year’s survey, just one-fifth thought the same. And more than 90 percent of the respondents expect better conditions in 2011, a 20 percentage point increase from last year.

Product innovations and innovative merchandising strategies--including online and mobile Internet shopping--were credited in the survey as big revenue drivers that will boost the retail industry for the next three years.

Half of the executives believe their sector will recover before the U.S. economy as a whole does. More than half are focusing on investing for growth and a substantial number are focusing on cost cutting.

Sixty-six percent of retail leaders polled cited continuing national unemployment as the factor most likely to hinder a recovery, while the remaining participants think that decreased consumer confidence, a distressed real estate market, and limited consumer access to credit will be at fault for holding up an improvement in the retail industry.