There is a lot of discuss about the death of retail but an industry group says facts tell a different story.
The most recent retail sales figures released by the Census Bureau were up a robust 4.2 percent year-on-year in July. Every month this year has seen a steady increase in sales over the same period last year.
Meanwhile, research from IHL Group finds retailers are opening 4,080 more stores in 2017 than they are closing. Another 5,500 stores are expected to open in 2018.
"This runs counter to what we've been hearing that stores are decreasing," says Mark Matthews, vice president of research development and industry analysis at the National Retail Federation. "They looked at stores in 10 categories, a broad range of retail."
According to Matthews, it just goes to show that retail can mean many different things.
"As long as there is a transaction and a product on sale for a customer to purchase, we consider that to be retail," he says. "It might be e-commerce. It might be an in-store transaction."
Numerous news outlets have reported store closings and his answer to that news is there are areas that are "challenged" but they are the exception and not the norm.
"Every industry experiences turnover and change," he says, "and companies are consistently having to adapt their business models to new realities. And retail is no different."