IS Retail – Brick & mortar dead? revised

Revised February 15, 2020

  I am updating this entry because much has changed since the original writing of June 2018.

This past holiday season Amazon revenue increased by a whopping 20%. Many brick and mortar retailers did well, but some did not. Bed Bathe & Beyond had a tuff season, as did Pier One and Kohls fell short of expected retail gains.

This past two weeks Simon Properties bought Taubman shopping center for $3.6 billion dollars. These are both class A mall owner s. Class A malls are the really nice upscale and well managed malls that many of us want to visit.

Macy is closing 130 stores, while making plans to open additional small-footprint stores in lifestyle open air centers. So, what does all this mean? Retail is synonymies with change. Change is happening and will continue to happen.

Small indoor malls that have not remodeled or forced their tenants to remodel will close. The same tired look will no longer sell products. More living-center outdoor malls will expand

The biggest change will come from retailers finding that balance of internet and brick and mortar that will work for them. People want to see products, but they also want that product fast and at their doorstep.

Competition at all levels will ramp up. Not just price, but customer experience will drive sales at physical and internet locations.

I am a baby-boomer so I remember the first mass merchandisers and the first “super”markets as well as the age of indoor malls. I remember the first moving belts at food stores to bring your food to the checker even faster. But I am also part of the age of internet sales and all the marketing that this method represents.

What is out will be boring and bad customer experiences. What is in will be the better methods of sales and marketing. We all need to pay attention to change in this ever-changing environment.

Dave – White Water Antiques