More than a third (37%) of U.S. middle market retail executives expect stronger sales this holiday season, due in part to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to Burt Feinberg , Group Head of CIT Commercial & Industrial at CIT Group Inc, (NYSE: CIT) cit.com, a leading provider of financing to small businesses and middle market companies. This topic is one of many discussed in the U.S. Retail Sector Outlook (cit.com/retailoutlook2012), the latest in a series of in-depth executive video Q&As featured in CIT’s Executive Insights video series (cit.com/executiveinsights).
Burt Feinberg, Group Head of CIT Commercial & Industrial (Photo: Business Wire)
Shift from Bricks and Mortar to Innovation
Retailers continue to focus on growing their businesses, but have shifted from traditional bricks and mortar storefronts to drive this growth. “Retail executives are focused on being more innovative, expanding product lines, improving service and staffing, marketing initiatives, advertising, utilizing new media and implementing loyalty programs to drive growth,” says Feinberg.
Gaining Market Share through Social Media and TechnologyTechnology and social media are playing an increasingly larger role in retail today. “It’s critical for retail executives to be on top of where social media’s going,” says Feinberg. “About half of our respondents said they’re active or very active in using social media and more than sixty percent have created mobile applications, having shifted marketing dollars from other channels. Others have implemented e-mail marketing campaigns, texting programs and expanded the use of handheld devices.” Retailers are excelling at mining their customers through electronic platforms. “They know who their customers are and how to communicate with them,” says Feinberg. “They now send their customers e-mails, coupons and promotions, which are all part of retention strategies that keep customers coming back.”