Where is retail FM headed? Find out with this PRSM 2018 trends report

by Brianna Crandall — September 11, 2017 — The Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM), an authority on retail, multi-site facilities management (FM), just released its annual review of the state of retail FM and key trends impacting the nation’s leading retailers and suppliers.

The 2018 Trends Report identifies five major trends driving the facilities management industry. They include: the transformation of the retail industry, the widening skills gap, technology, fulfillment center growth, and benchmarking. According to the report, these trends are driving change across the industry and will require facilities executives to adapt new strategies and tactics to succeed.

PRSM retail FM trends infographic

The 2018 Trends Report identifies five major trends driving the retail facilities management industry. Click to enlarge infographic.

Jonathan Bauer, 2017-2018 chair of the PRSM Association Board of Directors and senior director of Store Development, Gap Inc., stated:

The retail industry is transforming, and it is critical for retail facility executives to understand the trends driving this transformation. These trends provide great opportunities for my peers to demonstrate their expertise, to better support their companies and to drive change in the industry.

A breakdown of the major trends includes:

  • A new era in retail: Retail is not dead, it is evolving. As legacy retailers, close and redesign stores, online retailers open brick-and-mortar locations and shopping malls transform into community epicenters that include fitness centers, restaurants, offices and even churches, retail is continuing to evolve to meet changing consumer demands.
  • The skills gap crisis: Retail FM along with other skilled trades is facing a crisis. It is the increasing gap between the number of trained, qualified and experienced professionals needed in the industry and the number of qualified, skilled applicants.
  • Technology – tapping into tomorrow today: What was fast is now slow, what was smart is now not smart enough, and 10-year tech forecasts are here today. Mobility, VR, AR, drones, robotics and artificial intelligence are all impacting FM.
  • Retail streamlines fulfillment centers: The last mile of delivery has become critical. As online retail explodes and brick-and-mortar retailers promote online sales, the demand for streamlined fulfillment centers has skyrocketed.
  • Making the mark – industry benchmarking: Benchmarking drives change, and Dynamic Benchmarking provides factual comparisons of compensation and financial/operational data, and enables facilities professionals to make better decisions based on actual data instead of conjecture and opinion. The numbers and comparisons tell the story.

Download the PRSM Association 2018 Trends Report when available to learn more about how changes in the retail industry are impacting retail FM today.

The Trends Report was released during last week’s PRSM Mid-Year Conference in Indianapolis, IN, and will also be a topic of discussion at the 2017 PRSM Canadian events in October. Held each fall, these events provide strategic direction and tactical guidance for the retail industry, including retail facilities professionals. In April, the PRSM2018 National Conference will be held in Nashville, TN, and will host what PRSM says is the largest annual gathering of retail FM professionals.