Among Small Business Retailers, Brick-and-Mortar Thrives

Staff Report

Friday, July 12th, 2019

Small retailer businesses make up 98.6% of all retail firms, and employ nearly 40% of all retail workers, according to new data gathered by SCORE, mentors to America's small businesses, in honor of National Independent Retailer Month. Data also shows small brick-and-mortar retailers are remaining competitive by creatively engaging online to bring customers into their stores.

"Over the past 20 years, the Internet has steadily disrupted the retail industry, which has led some to assume that brick-and-mortar stores would eventually become a thing of the past," said SCORE CEO Ken Yancey. "Instead, this data shows how small brick-and-mortar retailers are successfully adapting their shopping experiences through strategies such as omni-channel sales, entertaining in-store events and special promotions, which appeal to the modern consumer's busy lifestyle and evolving needs."

Small retailers, with 50 or fewer employees, make up a majority of the retail industry:

Small retailers make up 98.6% of all retail firms.

Small and medium retailers have an average monthly revenue of $22,341 and an average gross margin of 51%.

Small retailers hire 39.8% of all retail employees.

Brick-and-mortar businesses have an in-store advantage over online-only retailers:

Consumers spend 69% of their discretionary monthly income in-store.

Ecommerce compromises just 9.46% of total retail sales.

55% of online shoppers prefer to buy from retailers that have a physical store presence, versus online only.

Trying items in store is three times more influential than other purchase factors.

Small retailers are using increasingly popular "retailtainment" events to engage and retain customers. 82% of shoppers attended a retail event last year and 58% are interested in going to one in the future. Top events consumers are interested in attending include:

Exclusive access to items or sale: 87%

Party: 81%

Product demonstration or tutorial: 80%

Small retailers that sell furniture and alcohol have the highest average monthly revenues:

Furniture: $40K in average monthly revenue

Beer, Wine and Spirits: $39K

Sporting Goods: $30.4K

Jewelry: $30K

Furnishings: $28K

Beverages $27.7K

Electronics: $26.4K

Fashion: $25K

Specialty Foods: $20.2K

Cosmetics & Beauty: $18.6K