US brick-and-mortar retailers poised for strong 2019: Study

U.S. brick-and-mortar retailers will see a year-over-year revenue increase next year, but the strong growth of 2018 will be hard to beat, according to the IBM 2019 Retail Survey.

The survey, released Monday, predicts an overall increase of 3.04 percent in brick-and-mortar sales.

Gains will be spread across categories, including health and personal care, clothing, pharmacies and restaurants.

“The buoyant sales that characterize the 2018 holiday shopping season will continue into the New Year,” the company said in a statement.

“Here, the weather is expected to play a key role, as an early start to spring following a cold winter is expected, which will be a big positive for U.S. retail in the first quarter, especially apparel sales.”

In addition, traditional retailers as a group are expected to see sales continue to increase via their online platforms.

“Simultaneous growth in both online and offline channels indicates that merchants are not only investing in their digital platforms, they are also finding new ways to draw shoppers into stores: for example, by changing store layouts and offering products not available online,” IBM said.

Notably, toys present an interesting in-store opportunity, as retailers are competing for this category, currently up for grabs, to get new shoppers into their stores. They are considering other new categories as well.

Among product categories expected to see a strong gain next year are “eating places,” up 5.23 percent, and “health and personal care,” up 3.52 percent, according to IBM.