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Thread: The future of retail stores

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Apr 2003
    Somewhere between the mountains and the ocean.

    The future of retail stores

    Macy's, JC Pennys, Sears and many more stores are struggling and closing locations. Payless Shoes filed for bankruptcy protection, Gander Mountain is closing most of their locations, Field and Stream locally closed, and for the few places that are still open, the in store selection continues to dwindle. Wal-Mart has even seen pressure and fluctuating sales.

    All of this is because of the internet.

    Cyber Monday saw double digit percentage increases, while in store black Friday sales saw double digit percentage decreases.

    Amazon continues to rule the online shopping experience by massive margins and places like Wal-Mart and Target are amping up their online shopping options in an effort to stay relevant.

    But what will all this mean for us in the future? Is there a way to guide this towards reestablishing the mom and pop main street stores and the downtown shopping experience for people who don't want to order something online?

    What will the future of retail sales be like? What impacts will it have on downtown and land uses? How much stuff do you buy online vs in a store?
    If you're not growing, you're dying. - Lou Holtz

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break
    I won't dispute that brick & mortar retail has encountered fierce online competition...and is losing ground on most fronts. That said we may be seeing the dawn of a new hybrid retailing era. Has anyone else been following Amazon's recent foray into brick & mortar? If physical locale were an obsolete principle, why would the world's largest online retailer be investing in the opposite direction?

    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
    Jan 2009
    Remote command post at local bar
    I think we'll always have brick stores in some manner, but the size and offerings will change. Stores like Walmart will no longer need 1,000,000,000,000 square feet since most of the products can be ordered online. It'll be more like the Sears parts pick up window years ago. Stores will be more boutique like. We don't need JC Penny's to carry 50 blue shirts. They'll stock a small selection for you to try on and browse and offer either better service or online ordering and your shirt will be sent by drone in a couple days.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Jun 2011
    The Woods
    Frankly, I prefer to buy things online because it elminates me interacting with people. Wal-Mart is the freaking WORST. There are always like a billion people in Wal-Mart, and none really understand common courtesy. Let's have a giant conversation involving 20 people we haven't seen in 2 days in the middle of the damn aisle.

    That said, there are simply things I need now, and don't have time to wait even for Prime 2 day shipping. Stores like Macy's or JC Pennys can survive, but they will drastically need to change their business model. Large stores aren't the way forward, they need to reduce footprint (and overhead) and stock less, more "in style" clothing. It's still very hard to buy clothes online because of size inconsistencies between manufacturers. Sears is done for, their business model is useless at this point. What do they want to be? They are such a mishmash of crap, and every one is in such outdated poor condition.

    Until internet shopping can promise me same daydelivery, there is still a need for brick and mortar stores. I say me specifically because I know in larger cities, same day delivery is commonplace, but I don't live in a major city.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Mar 2005
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    The large footprint stores will continue to be on the decline, but smaller specialty stores will be increasing. Small business, boutiques, service, and specialty stores in the 2,000 to 20,000 sf should be the backbone. Malls are dead/dying, strip centers are cyclical based on location, downtowns are rising to some degree.

    I see irony too - think about Sears historic roots. They started as a mail order company with a good catalog of products (even houses at one point). Then they went brick & mortar and now the online (today's mail order) stores are killing them in combination with their static mall locations.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  6. #6
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Blog entries

    Here we go.....

    Free advice that will end up making someone not named The One rich!

    Retail must adapt to become a social destination and not a chore.

    How? If I knew that I'd be the one getting rich.
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

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