Our 2018 Midyear Wrap-Up condenses our coverage of major retail events and developments from the first half of 2018.

  • US retail sales are up by a solid 4.5% year over year. Higher gas prices have—unusually—failed to dent discretionary retail sales.
  • Store closures by major US retailers have reached 4,136 to date. We estimate that 2018 will end with 8,000–10,000 US store closures, exceeding the 7,066 closures that we recorded for 2017.
  • In the UK, store closure numbers have surged. So far, we have recorded 934 announced closures, compared to the 1,005 closures we recorded for 2017 as a whole. This suggests that the number of UK store closures for the full year could almost double.
  • Target will invest $3.5 billion this year to remodel stores, open new-format stores and expand digital fulfillment.
  • Zalando remains on course to double sales by 2020.
  • opened a new supermarket format and plans to put convenience stores in many Chinese villages.

Our 2018 Midyear Wrap-Up brings together our coverage of retail events, company developments and our conference coverage from the first half of 2018. Our team has had a busy first half, attending conferences and investor days in the US, Europe and Asia, and covering a raft of news events and company updates.

We divide our coverage into three themes:

  • Events: Coverage of macro events and retail sector changes.
  • Companies: A review of major company announcements and our notes from the various investor days.
  • Conferences: Our takeaways from industry conferences that we attended worldwide.

The report concludes with a look ahead to key events coming up in the second half of the year. We hope you find our coverage of the first half of 2018 informative and interesting. Our coverage of retail and technology continues every day.

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