The 'retail apocalypse,' explained

Everyone has heard the headlines: the retail apocalypse is here; online shopping has replaced traditional stores. But it turns out that’s not what’s actually going on.

In 2019, the US saw roughly 9,300 retail stores close; a 61% uptick from the previous year according to Coresight Research. Concerning? Yes. But if you look a little closer, you get a bit of a different picture. For instance, Payless, the discount shoe retailer, accounted for nearly a quarter of those store closures. In fact, out of the 12 companies that each closed more than 200 stores, 9 had filed for bankruptcy in recent years.

The narrative has been that, as e-commerce rises, traditional brick-and-mortar stores decline. Is that really the case? Not quite. In fact, research shows that the two can have a symbiotic relationship. That’s thanks to a shift in consumer behavior. Shopping today doesn’t always happen all online or all in-store; it’s often a hybrid experience, such as buying a product online and then picking it up in-store.

When do you visit a physical store? How does the ‘hybrid’ shopping experience apply to you?
Let us know in the comments below.

Producer: John General
Senior Producer: Logan Whiteside


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