Where did all the retailers go?

By Staff Writer Tamendy Raymond.

It has been a tumultuous start of 2019 since retailers have announced closures of hundreds of stores across the nation.

Some of the United States’ most prominent retailers have shutting down stores or declaring bankruptcy in recent months.

The rise of e-commerce outlets like Amazon has made it difficult for traditional retailers to attract customers to their stores and forced companies to alter their sales strategies.

When it comes to technology companies versus retailers, technology companies are fast and are constantly building to learn. Retailers are close to the network with exclusive arrangements and it never fails. Many companies have turned to sales promotions and increased digital efforts to lure shoppers while shutting down many prominent locations.

Payless Shoesource, the shoe retailer, will file for bankruptcy for the second time in two years, first seen in April 2017. Approximately 2,300 stores in U.S will be closed in upcoming years.

Macy’s is going to shut down 68 stores in the upcoming months. It has been stated that stores fell 2.1 percent in November and December compared to the same period last year. Over 5,000 workers will be jobless.

Various Victoria Secret outlets have been closing down too. Is it due to the lack of staffing? Who wouldn’t want to work at a bra and panties store? It feels like there’s a rush to empty out retail spaces all of a sudden. Now, that everyone has all the selection they could want on their phone, the original format is obsolete. As smartphone and internet use has increased, the importance of retail stores has declined. The wants and needs of consumers have changed.

JC Penney announced that it will be closing up to 140 stores, while shutting down two distribution facilities. Has online shopping taken a new turn through social media outlets? Sears and Kmart are expected to be closing around April. Sears is one of the most prominent traditional retailers to suffer in this challenged sales environment. It will be closing more than 140 of its 700 remaining stores as part of its bid to restructure its debt. The company is set to hold an auction to determine whether it will be sold to its former CEO or to liquidate its remaining stores.

Millennial and Gen Z consumers want products that are ethically made, with fair salaries paid to everyone in the supply chain, locally sourced, environmentally friendly, authentic and experiential. For big organizations it it almost impossible. It’s the not the products, it is the culture. If you’ve constructed a big organization that knows how sell products one way, changing to another way is almost impossible.

There are two different approaches between retailers and technology companies, and squaring the two is difficult. It is culturally and virtually impossible.

Consumer product companies that are based digitally, and now have a big advantage over legacy retailers, who have legacy approaches. This means that we are going to see a shift of closing stores. What does this mean for the future? Is this a retail apocalypse?

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