The US Retail Market: Change, Challenge and Talent Attraction

5 min

The global retail industry has experienced significant challenges and changes in recent years. With the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, changes in consumer behaviour and advancements in technology the retail sector has been re-shaped. Throughout this article, we will look into the US retail market as it stands, and how development and change will impact the market and talent throughout this year. 

It is expected that by 2024, the retail industry will have a turnover worth $30 trillion, with the US retail market size standing at $4.55 trillion at the end of 2021. In 2022, the retail trade sector employed approximately 15.4 million employees, contributing 6% to value added GDP. 

There’s no doubt the US retail market is continuing to grow, providing an important indicator for economic growth with consumer activity and spending driving the economy after what has been a turbulent time in recent years.  

The impact of the covid-19 pandemic and the recession 

Throughout the covid-19 pandemic, the US retail market was impacted by a shift in consumer behaviour, with consumers seeking to purchase products and services online. With this, businesses that didn’t already have an online presence were forced to review and adapt their business to allow for new, digital platforms and methods of obtaining sales. For those businesses unable to move online due to feasibility, limitations or lack of resource, they were forced to close, many of which did not bounce back post pandemic.  

In 2022, with the impact of the pandemic and looming recession still affecting the US retail market, retail sales dropped 20% from February to April, according to Deloitte. Employed consumers have reduced spending significantly over the last year. 

Changes in consumer behaviour  

Changes in consumer behaviour such as hybrid working, and consumer convenience has resulted in a shift in buying behaviour and preferences. Retailers have had to adapt their approach and offerings to ensure they can compete and achieve sales. There has been a distinct drop in store footfall with many customers reverting to online shopping. Alongside this, the impact of fast fashion and increased awareness of sustainable products and processes within retail has impacted both retailers, packaging companies and consumers.


New technology and digitalisation in retail 

New technology is constantly being developed across the retail industry, with omnichannel strategies, interactive retail experiences, self-serve commerce and automations. With this technological advancement, comes new consumer behaviours, and new roles within retail to manage all new technology and processes. As we move forward into 2023, we will continue to see more change and innovation across the retail industry. 

Talent shortages and retail jobs in de