The Retail Services Industry in the United States

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The U.S. Retail Services Industry

woman with shopping bags at mallThe United States has well-established distribution channels for all types of retail companies. The retail services industry provides an openly competitive environment that fosters strong business operations and spurs innovations that increase efficiency and reliability.

Total sales from the more than 3.6 million retail establishments in the United States reached about $2.5 trillion in 2012, and retailers supported more than 42 million jobs in the U.S. According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for 2013 are expected to increase 3.4 percent from 2012.

Numerous opportunities for growth exist in the U.S. retail market for retail providers of all sizes, including individual direct marketers or direct sellers, small- to medium-sized franchise unit owners, and large “big-box” store operators. New distribution companies are opening stores and units daily to serve a large, affluent consumer base. 

Industry Subsectors

Retailers: This subsector employs approximately one out of five Americans. According to the National Retail Federation, independent and privately held retail businesses account for about 95 percent of the retail industry.

Franchisers: Franchising has provided business opportunities in the United States for more than 150 years. The model is widely embraced because it provides an established plan for business expansion and a means of spreading risk. Franchising also offers assistance and support for new business owners by passing on a proven business model, along with training and support, advertising programs, accounting and payroll management, and discounted group rates for employee health insurance.