Retail grocers are struggling as the economy slows, with more than two-thirds of them struggling to maintain profit margins, a new study from the National Retail Federation found.
The survey of more than 1,000 retail grocers found that most of them are also facing challenges in maintaining sales, with the biggest challenges being maintaining inventory and attracting new customers.
“The retail grocery industry is facing a long-term economic and workforce shortage and we cannot afford to see our business continue to shrink as a result of the current economic conditions,” said John Schmitt, the CEO of the National Grocers Association, a trade group representing over 50 of the nation’s largest retailers.
“We have lost nearly 2 million jobs since 2009 and more than 300,000 jobs since 2014 alone, and we are not in a position to sustain those losses.”
“This report demonstrates that retailers face significant challenges to retain and expand their business and continue to grow in a dynamic global marketplace,” Schmitt said.
“These challenges have created significant uncertainty for retail grocer customers and impacted their business, especially in rural communities and small business owners.”
The survey found that the number of grocers in the United States has fallen to about 4.3 million, down from more than 6.6 million in 2010, according to the survey.
The number of wholesale retailers, meanwhile, has grown from about 7.2 million in the early 2000s to nearly 16.3, or almost a third, of the total.
That’s an increase of nearly 2.3 percentage points since 2010, with nearly half of the growth being from smaller grocers.
The retail groppers are struggling because they have less inventory and a higher rate of returns than the wholesale merchants.
The study also found that retail grovers face a variety of challenges in attracting new business and retaining customers.
The survey of retail grobers found that only 1 in 10 of the grocers surveyed said they had found a buyer for a product or service they offer.
Nearly half of those surveyed said that a product they offer would not sell well in the marketplace, while a third said they would not get a good return on their investments.
The biggest challenge for retail shoppers is the fact that they are not sure where to find the products they want, Schmitt added.
The surveys findings also found the number one challenge for wholesale merchants was increasing competition from online retailers.
Retail grovers have seen a rise in online competition, with competition from Amazon.com, Walmart and Costco increasing since the retail gropper boom of the 2000s.
The online marketplaces have also grown exponentially, with online grocery stores such as Costco and Amazon.
Some online retailers are offering more competitive prices and are charging higher fees than the retail stores.
But online retailers still account for less than 3 percent of the retail industry’s overall sales, the survey found.
“With the retail market struggling, we have seen the need for a strategic strategy to attract and retain customers in an environment that is changing faster than we are,” said Paul G. Dutko, president and chief executive officer of the NGA.
“The online industry has been able to quickly and efficiently grow its customer base by expanding into specialty categories and specialty stores.
We believe the online retail industry can continue to compete for the business of retail and we look forward to working with the retailers and other vendors that have a strong track record of growth.”
The survey also found retail groper customers face a wide variety of economic issues, such as low wages, high costs, the decline in sales, and low inventory.
It’s not just about the costs, however, as retail groers also are struggling to attract new customers, with low interest rates, lower prices, and lower wages making it difficult for customers to find quality products and services.
“While retail grocery customers continue to struggle to compete with online competitors, online grocery shoppers are enjoying the benefits of reduced costs and increased opportunities to shop and shop,” said Schmitt.
“Consumers are looking for quality products at reasonable prices and our retailers can help to provide them.
In this new marketplace, retail grover customers are also able to enjoy increased choice, as they can shop at a variety for the same price.”
According to the study, more than 2.5 million retail groves have been closed since 2010.
The retailers face a number of challenges including declining business, higher rates of inflation, and shrinking supply, while many are also struggling to retain customers.
“The most important challenges for retail grocery shoppers and other retail customers are the increasing costs associated with the rising cost of living and lower purchasing power, both of which are being experienced across all sectors,” said Shari J. Pecoraro, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
“In this environment, retail retailers have more competition from consumers in online retailers and online shopping.
While this market is changing fast, retail customers remain optimistic about