New market research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) points to a year of growth ahead for both the economy as a whole and the consumer tech industry. Nevertheless, many of us in specialty brick-and-mortar retail know it’s no guarantee. Headline after headline recounts the woes of well-established retailers - particularly department and mall stores - either significantly downsizing or seeking bankruptcy protection. Uncertainty, we must assume, is retail’s new normal.
To be sure, the year ahead looks bright for our industry. According to CTA’s January 2017 U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecast report:
- Shipment volumes of connected-home technologies will increase 63 percent in 2017.
- We are enjoying 90 straight months of economic expansion (the fourth-longest run in post-war U.S. history).
- The U.S. economy is expected to increase two percent in 2017, and unemployment will continue to decline.