Friday’s Assorted Stats and Links

  • “87 percent of seniors age 65 and older, and 71 percent of those between 50 and 64, want to age in place”
  • The mall as a retail destination is declining. But the mall as an experience center and assorted brand activation is rising in its place. The internet has taught us we shouldn’t tie retail to real estate. Now we are tying experience to real estate and I’m not sure the outcome will be much better. Real estate and long-lived fixed assets aren’t able to adjust quickly enough to an accelerating rate of change of tastes and preferences.
  • An in-store retail associate wears many hats – most of them influenced by technology where tasks are often digitally defined.
  • Reverse logistics is defining physical retail. Retailers are also increasingly handling e-commerce returns that may have nothing to do with their own brands. I’ve heard from some retail executives that individual store comps would be negative everyday if online sales were subtracted from the store’s sales. There’s been a lot written about Amazon needing to contain shopping costs. But I imagine much of their focus over the next year will be on containing return costs.
  • “Pay for the bottom 25% of wage earners rose 4.5% in November from a year earlier, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Wages for the top 25% of earners rose 2.9%. Similarly, the Atlanta Fed found wages for low-skilled workers have accelerated since early 2018, and last month matched the pace of high-skill workers for the first time since 2010.” Perhaps the most overlooked trends of 2019.