In this segment, the retailer J.C. Penney will be analyzed against the department store retail industry, with particular emphasis placed upon their competitors, Macy’s and Kohl’s. The major components to be discussed will include the general external environment (i.e. demographics, economics, politics, legal requirements, technologies and global expansion), the industry environment, the competitive environment, the driving forces and the key factors for success within the industry. In terms of the general external environment, the retail industry is a multi-trillion dollar business in the United States alone and maintains operations primarily due to consumer spending. Such purchases rely upon the disposable income of …show more content…
are both publicly traded on the stock exchange and privately owned. According to the latest annual report from the U.S. Commerce Department, total retail sales in 2011 were $4.7 trillion, which represents an 8% increase over 2010 total retail sales (including food service and automotive). The 2011 increase was the largest year-over-year increase since 1999, indicating that economic recovery is well underway and that the future of the U.S. economy is expansion, not recession.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14.4 million people were employed in the U.S. Retail Industry as of April, 2010. Although retail employment was increasing every month at the beginning of 2010, retail employment numbers were still the lowest they've been for the past decade. Because of the decline in retail jobs and the increase in overall unemployment, the retail job market in 2010 is extremely competitive at all levels. Generally, any business that sells finished merchandise to an end user is considered to be part of the retail industry. Sales figures and economic data are sometimes reported separately for restaurants and automotive-related businesses, but by definition they are considered to be members of the retail industry as well.
Economic Segment The performance of the economy as a whole obviously has a great impact on the retail industry. Retailer profits have a close correlation with the overall performance of the economy. Looking at the trends for growth in gross