(Photo: Pioneer Press: John Doman)
It’s true that the landscape for retail is certainly changing at a rapid pace, walk into any mall in America and it is almost guaranteed that you will find closed up storefronts of once loved stores, but is the “retail apocalypse” we’ve been warned about doesn’t seem to be doing that much damage.
In 2017, according to IHL Group’s Debunking the Retail Apocalypse report, retailers have planned to or already opened 1,326 more locations that have been closed. Tackle on restaurants and it jumps up to 4,080 new openings in 2017 and another 5,050 planned for the next year. The reality is that between chain stores and restaurants while 10,123 locations will close, 14,239 will open.
“Without question, retail is undergoing some fundamental changes. The days of ‘build it and they will come’ are over,” said IHL Greg Buzek in a press release, “However retailers that are focusing on the customer experience, investing in
better training of associates and integrating IT systems across channels will continue to succeed.”
The way in which Americans shop today is completely different from how they shopped even just five years ago and while online shopping has certainly flipped retail on its head it will not be its cause of death. Instead, retailers must make their shopping experience better for the consumer, people are not going to leave their house unless they have a darn good reason to.