A recent HSBC report finds that the middle market contributes $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy and supports 16.5 million jobs, representing 13% of output and employment, respectively. Retail and wholesale make up the largest sector presence with 18,500 firms. It also represents the largest share of turnover at an estimated $1.8 trillion and contributes about 3.1 million jobs.
Despite these companies’ tremendous presence, however, they face serious challenges. “They’ve reached a point, where, having grown successfully for some time, they have to shake up the way they do things if they want to grow further,” says Derrick Ragland, executive vice president, HSBC Bank USA.
Retail businesses aren’t wasting any time as they’re quickly shaking up the way they do things. A recent GE Capital survey of leaders of U.S. middle-market firms finds that the retail sector continues to experience steady growth in terms of revenue and employment. In fact, 45% of respondents believe the retail sector will expand in the year ahead, while employment is expected to grow an average of 2.4% over one year.
One of the greatest impacts on retail is coming from mobile devices, according to the GE Capital Survey, which finds 1 in 5 retail transactions is completed online. Half of middle market retailers expect more online transactions will take place in the coming year. Nearly half of the retailers have mobile-designed websites, while another 15% plan to optimize their website this year.
In these times of uncertainty and increased competitiveness, mid-market business leaders will benefit from being able to adapt to, and possibly predict, their dynamic needs in this ever-changing environment.