None of the things mentioned in the previous answer are actual measures of productivity. Productivity is a measure of how efficiently various resources are used to create a good or a service. For a retail store, productivity needs to be measured by measuring the amount of sales per unit of some resource.
Some possible measures would include
- sales per linear foot of shelving space
- sales per square foot of floor space in the store that is devoted to selling
- sales per employee
These measures could help to show us how the retail industry is changing. For example, if the retail industry is moving more towards "dollar store" type outlets, we would expect to see more sales per square foot of floor space. This is because such stores tend to be very crowded, offering many discounts but little in the way of a "shopping experience." As another example, a move towards more sales online would presumably be seen in an increase in the sales per employee as more sales would be made without the need for sales staff in a store.
These sorts of measures of productivity could tell us how the retail industry is evolving by giving us some clues as to how discount retail stores are doing business.
This is a great question. In view of the economy discount retail chains are growing and evolving. Let me give you three ways in which these chains are evolving.
First, they have a stronger online presence. They are realizing that more and more people are shopping online. Hence, they are spending more money in this area and generating more revenue. This trend will continue.
Second, stores like Walmart and Target are making contracts with designers and creating certain items, such as clothing. In this way, they not only get brand names and great designers, but they also are able to sell them at their discount stores. For this reason, these stores are gaining great influence and even prestige, which it did not have before. Having exclusive items is a new trend.
Third, these stores are also become centers for one stop shopping. For example, many Walmarts sell groceries and even have car repairs. Moreover, they are opening up all over the world, such as in China.