Are Retail Stores Dying?

It’s funny heading into a public event and introducing yourself as Shop Girl Anonymous, the reactions are all very similar.  Upon the mention of my blog their eyebrows furrow and they lean in as if it to tell me something private like there’s a piece of broccoli in my teeth.

Instead though they survey the room before they ask one or all of these questions:

  • “Are retail malls dying?”
  • “Is the retail apocalypse real?”
  • “Is Macy’s out the door?”

Always Macy’s, always so worried about their beloved and iconic Macy’s.

Media Responsibility

I have to restrain the eye roll almost every time, because my eye’s are not rolling in their direction, but in the direction of the hyped up media looking to sell papers.  When Ana Navarro and Joy-Ann Reid were asked at the Blogher conference this past week before a stage of two thousand women if they felt responsible for the recent polarization of the U.S. they both nodded eagerly in unison.  I felt an overwhelming sense of respect instantly for their candor without hesitation.

Trump got exposure because he was entertaining and open to media

–Ana Navarro (CNN)

Joy Reid though was quick also to point out, the the polarization would not exist if there was not already a consumer for it.

Media does have responsibility, but if you’re consuming it, you are equal to blame

–Joy-Ann Ried (CNN)

Ana Navarro then elaborated that, “provoking confrontation has deepened the divide, but America chooses to watch it.”

Media and “The Retail Apocalypse”

It is no secret, actually we love to shout it at the roof tops, some retailers are struggling to keep their doors open.  What is the secret though?  Many retailers are flourishing, or some of these store closings have absolutely nothing to do with a decline in brick and mortar but instead a reimagining of the shopping experience.

And as you my reader are well aware, the final question when it comes to the media is, which headline lures more readers:

Even the readers that are afraid that Amazon will destroy retail with their future super monopoly; still don’t want me to tell them that they are wrong.

Where Will Retail Be In 2020?

Brick and Mortar is not going to be wiped off the planet.  Even Amazon knew that Brick and Mortar is vital to their business structure, why else would they have invested more than an entire summer’s earnings for all of Disney on a failing grocery store chain?  Why would they have invested in developing, building and establishing their own brand of brick and mortars this past fall if there was no money to be had in Brick and Mortar.

Retail is evolving, and for those iconic retailers who hoped to depend solely on their name in order to survive such as Sears, K-Mart, Sport’s Authority, etc. will no longer exist.

The future is not online, and the future is not brick and mortar, the futures is omnichannel.  Shopping will be digital and immersive.  The Brick and Mortar scene will see more technological advance, and will have more opportunity to tie into your own personal social media platforms.  Not only Amazon will be running up to your door within an hour delivering your toilet paper and milk, Wal-Mart is not far behind in ability or research.

With the lower demand for retail jobs, there will be an opportunity to be more selective in the customer service attendants on staff to assist you.   Training will be digitalized and conformed across the globe through apps and other technological advances, allowing your shopping experience to be care free and with ease.

Cash register lines and self check out will most likely still be a thing by the time 2020 hits, but perhaps planning their way out the door as the technology of Amazon Go and SnapChat methods of “cashier-less” shopping advances enough to become more widely attainable.

Truly what a revolutionary time to be in the retail field.   I stand by Dave Simon, CEO of Simon malls who insists that retail is very much alive, but only for those retailers who are willing to invest in improving the experience, “whether that be through technology…or a better look or feel.”

Don’t feed into the media, allow yourself to see the new possibilities on the horizon.  Diversify your sources, read the good and the bad and you’ll find the truth somewhere in the middle.  But of course if we are talking business, the truth is always in the numbers.

Audiences are polarizing themselves listening only to strict mindsets.

–Joy-Ann Reid (CNN)

Until next time fan boys and girls—>



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5 thoughts on “Are Retail Stores Dying?

  1. I think independent niche stores will have a chance. Some folks will enjoy the nostalgia of browsing and buying something they just touched. It would be crazy but someone needs to startup a new department store that brings a lot of different things together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the whole retail industry is undergoing a rapid change some are finding it difficult to keep themselves going while others are flourishing. Consumer attitudes have changed. Loyalty is a bad name! Let’s see what happens in next 2-3 years.. how retail evolves in front of challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you. The stores that are struggling did not evolve to keep up with changes in society. They just kept doing the same old thing and the quality of their customer service was declining. The stores that are prospering are the ones that were willing to make changes and innovate.

    Liked by 2 people

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