Brick and Mortar Stores Hit Tipping Point

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Some of the challenges faced by car audio shops are part of a greater shift away from brick and mortar retail.

And that change has sped up in the last 3 years, said The New York Times on Sunday.

From 2010 to 2014, online sales grew by about $30 billion annually, but in the past three years, they accelerated to $40 billion in annual growth.

That led one analyst to claim that retail has reached a tipping point.

The number of store closings this year is expected to be greater than during the Great Recession of 2008.  Only this time, the closings come at a time when the economy is relatively strong.

Retail workers are dropping like flies.  About 89,000 have been laid off in the last six months.

Malls are being turned into “trampoline parks and community colleges,” said the Times, using the phrase “zombie malls.”

Conversely, warehouse distribution centers are opening to serve as fulfillment centers for online services with same day delivery.

In consumer electronics alone, two major chains just announced bankruptcy including hhgregg with 220 stores and Radio Shack with 552 stores. Then there’s Macy’s plans to lay off 10,000 workers and close 68 stores.

But all is not doom and gloom. One sign that brick and mortar will survive comes from Amazon itself, as it is dabbling in opening real store fronts.

Similarly, a Seeking Alpha story on Sunday said to investors, “We have predicted that the end result will be a reduction in the brick and mortar footprint, however that the sector won’t just go to zero like some think.”

As always, the New York Times story mentions that some consumers still want “top-notch” in-store service.  Specialists may want to make sure that their service is truly superior.

Source: The New York Times

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  1. The aftermarket 12 volt industry has been on the decline for the past 10 years and the internet is slowly crushing key retailers and now distributors also. This process is now speeding up to unprecendented levels as companies continue to sell their products to internet accounts. Manufacturers should have at least a small portion of key product categories and products NOT offered on the internet so our 12 volt retailers can make a profit and survive. “And the race to zero margins continues”.

  2. Mainstream retail as we know it may very well be on a path to oblivion. There is a place and a need for specialty retailers and the products and services they provide. The key is to BE special, and to consistently deliver expertise and service that cannot be found online. Barring that? It’s over.

  3. many have given up on the resurrection of brick and mortar retail. I, myself, rely on voodoo
    curses upon competitors and low contribution to marginal revenue customers.

  4. QUOTE OF THE DAY ! ! !

    “Specialists may want to make sure that their service is truly superior.”

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