Brick and mortar crucial for retail success, study finds

The relationship between physical and digital retail is getting more serious.

Having a physical store is critical for the success of retailers and e-retailers, according to a new report from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). The report provided statistics around a synergistic relationship between online and offline retail.

“If you’ve opened up a store, generally your web traffic and outreaching goes up by 37 percent,” said ICSC CEO Tom McGee on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” on Thursday. “You close a store, your web traffic goes down by a similar amount.”

With the prospect of going viral in malls, Facebook recently announced it will open nine pop-up shops in Macy’s department stores throughout the U.S. Additionally, Amazon Go plans to have 3,000 brick-and-mortar stores up and running by 2021.

Driven by a strong economy, job market and good consumer sentiment, ICSC forecasts 4.5 percent growth during the holiday shopping in addition to a jump in consolidation between physical and digital retail.

“You’re really seeing retailers understanding this relationship and stop thinking about there being a digital channel and a physical channel, but really there’s one channel called the consumer channel,” McGee said.

At the same time, competition from e-retailers like Amazon has created chaos within the broader retail landscape. Companies such as Sears and Toys ‘R’ Us recently filed for bankruptcy, while other big names are shuttering locations across the nation.

In McGee’s opinion, retailers will need to boost investments in their digital and physical channels in order to succeed over the next decade.

“I think we are in a retail renaissance,” he said. “And those that do that well and create a vibrant experience are going to do exceptionally well and have that seamless experience across all channels.”