Assessing the Impact of Store Closings on the Digital Signage Industry


According to Fung Global Retail & Technology, during 2016, 2,139 stores opened in the U.S. and 1,674 closed. So far, 2017 has seen 3,262 announced store openings, and 5,321 announced closings (see Chart 1). This introduces the question: Will the closing of all these stores negatively impact the digital signage industry?

Chart 1.

By: Steven Keith Platt, Director and Research Fellow, Platt Retail Institute and Research Director, Retail Analytics Council, Northwestern University.

While a shrinking retail customer base is not helpful, I do not think that this will negatively impact the industry for two major reasons:[1]

  1. Digital screens are sold into a lot of environments beyond what might be considered traditional retail, i.e., hospitality, banks, QSR and transportation to name a few.
  2. Store-based retailers recognize the importance of digitizing their stores with various technologies to both compete with online retailers and to enhance their stores.[2]

[1] Note also that Global Market Insight, for example, in its research titled “Digital Signage Market Forecast, 2016 – 2023,” finds that the global digital signage market was over $15 billion in 2015, with a forecasted 5.2 percent annual growth rate from 2016 to 2023.

[2] In its 2016 Retail Technology Survey, Gartner found that 58 percent of the retailers surveyed were increasing their IT spending budgets versus 2015.


About Author

Steven Keith Platt is Director and Research Fellow at the Platt Retail Institute (PRI). He also serves as the Research Director at the Retail Analytics Council, an initiative between the Medill School, Integrated Marketing Communications department, Northwestern University and PRI.

Platt received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and Marketing from the Boston University School of Management.  He also has a Law Degree and an LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University, where he served as Articles Editor for the University’s Journal of Tax Law.

Platt has co-authored seven major Working Papers about digital communication networks, and serves as publisher of the Journal of Retail Analytics. He has published articles in journals including the American Bankers Association Journal, Digital Signage Quarterly, Extended Retail Solutions, Retail Information Systems News, the Retail Solutions Providers Association Magazine, and the Retail Navigator, among many others.

He has been quoted in publications including Business Week, Chain Store Age, the Chicago Tribune, DSN Retailing Today, Inc. Magazine, Stores Magazine, the San Jose Mercury News, Time Magazine, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.  He has also appeared as a guest analyst on the CBS Evening News and Early Show, ABC World News, and HD News. Platt also has lectured at conferences around the globe.


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