HOLLYWOOD, FL -- Two recent surveys conducted by the Association for Retail Environments (A.R.E.) confirm not only that much of retail's expansion and growth will take place beyond North America, but that 67% of respondents depend on North American vendors to source fixtures, displays, and other products and services for international projects.

A.R.E. Surveys Find NA Vendors Sourcing Intl. Retail ProjectsA.R.E. conducted a State of the Industry survey with retail executives and a Trends in International Business survey, with A.R.E. member suppliers of retail environments products and services, in late August.

"This illustrates that the expertise of A.R.E.'s member companies's now extends well beyond capabilities in global sourcing for North American projects. Our members are working with their North American-based clients to take advantage of growth opportunities around the world," said Klein Merriman, A.R.E.'s executive director.

A few more highlights from the surveys:

* Retail expansion is more international than domestic

68% of retailers are expanding more rapidly (or at least as rapidly) internationally as in North America, including:

- 37% surveyed say they are expanding more rapidly internationally than in North America.

- 31% say their expansion is evently split between international and North America.

* Size matters when it comes to international expansion.

Larger chains (those over 1,000 locations) are more likely to expand more rapidly internationally than in North America. Retailers with over 2,000 locations show the greatest percentage of their growth in international locations compared to their domestic expansion plans (47% of retailer respondents say they are expanding more rapidly internationally than in North America; 18% say they are expanding more rapidly in North America).

* Retailers depend on North American retail environments providers for international expansion

Over half (69%) of retailers say they work with North American vendors when they source fixtures, displays, and other products and services for their international locations. And more than half of those retailers (36% overall) say they will continue to work with their established vendors for as long as possible.

The view from the supply side:

* Over half (69%) of A.R.E.'s North American members provide retail environments products or services to retail projects outside North America

* For a third of A.R.E. member companies, international projects now make up 10% or more of their total sales.

*Over half (63%) of A.R.E. members who are doing business internationally are working for their existing domestic retailer clients as they expand beyond North America.

* Expectations are for the international market to continue to grow in importance.

- 52% of A.R.E. member suppliers of fixtures, displays, and other retail environments products and services say they have experienced success in the international market.

- 39% expect future growth in international projects.


Source: Assn. for Retail Environments


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