Greetings Good People,
I came across an article from the Business Insider that advised that Toys R Us will be closing all of its U.S. stores this year due to liquidation. After getting over the initial shock of having an aspect of my childhood torn from me, I started to question whether this will happen to other franchises going forward. The advancement of technology has already shown that the globe is headed towards a more radioactive state, which will have detrimental effects on the planet. So one could only assume that our codependency on retail will change as well.
According to CNBC, thousands of stores will be going dark in 2018. Throughout the year 2017, about 105 million square feet of retail space shuttered; and retail stores that will be closing in 2018 are set to break a record. Cowen analyst, Oliver Chen, advised that “stores are not going away but without a doubt, stores/malls will be redefined as customer acquisition points and off-mall locations will continue to be a platform for off-price and value retailers to expand their footprint.” Which means that there will be an increase in the most obvious and competitive alternative market, online shopping.
The Washington Post has argued that Americans are now online shopping as often as we take out the trash. 8 out of 10 Americans shop on the internet, and that includes everything from groceries, prescription refills, clothing, furniture, and etc. This is taking a major toll on retail jobs, with 46% of department store jobs vanishing since the year 2000; at least 5,300 stores have announced closures this year. And between 2003 and 2007, America’s clothing stores lost about 46,000 jobs. Statista also stated that retail e-commerce sales worldwide are set to nearly double between 2016 – 2020, with only 14 percent of U.S. consumers searching online to buy in a store and 42 percent of consumers searching to purchase products.
With the advent of social media, one could only imagine the pressure that retail stores are facing in order to stay relevant in this new millennium; not to mention online reviews and “Social Justice Warriors” who can affect marketing. I honestly can’t think of a solution to fix this problem. Because although entrepreneurship seems to be on the rise, major conglomerates like Amazon are wiping out their competition. Maybe a reassessment in our values would help, but societal wise we’re anchored to be materialistic, and capitalism has bred us to be dependent on overindulgence in order to provide for our families. Hopefully, something positive will come out of this, but I’m not sure what that will be.
Until Next Time…
Paquette, D. (2017, July 13). We’re starting to shop online as often as we take out the trash. Retrieved May 28, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/13/how-your-shopping-habits-are-hurting-american-jobs-especially-today/?utm_term=.869e783eda12
Peterson, H. (2018, March 15). Toys R Us is closing all its US stores — and blowout clearance sales could begin within weeks. Retrieved May 28, 2018, from http://www.businessinsider.com/toys-r-us-stores-closing-sales-2018-3
Thomas, L. (2018, April 18). The amount of retail space closing in 2018 is on pace to break a record. Retrieved May 28, 2018, from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/18/the-amount-of-retail-space-closing-in-2018-is-on-pace-to-break-record.html
Thomas, L. (2018, April 5). Here are all the store closures we know are coming in 2018. Retrieved May 28, 2018, from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/05/here-are-all-the-store-closures-we-know-are-coming-in-2018.html
Online shopping behavior in the United States – Statistics & Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2018, from https://www.statista.com/topics/2477/online-shopping-behavior/