For preparation of back to work, I started to learn business English with a radio program and the text. The contents are made based on American Society issues.
The theme of the first week in February was “Retail crisis”.
I learned there’re a lot of “zombie malls” in the USA and there’s even a website to introduce zombie malls. I was surprised that the number of malls increased more than twice as fast as the population between 1970 and 2015. Another surprising face is that the USA has 40 percent more shopping space than Canada on a per capita basis and five times more than Britain. Experts says a quarter of the country’s 1,200 malls could closed by 2020. This is all because of the cheaper Internet access and the smart phone evolution and people have become used to the instant gratification of having products delivered quickly. Not only malls but also brick-and-mortar stores are suffered from tech savvy customers. Internet is sounding death knell for them.
However, not all consumers shop for everything and anything online. We’re now seeing some of e-tailers moving back to the brick-and-mortar world. For example, old-fashioned bookstores. The idea is to appeal to people who like to touch and feel and even smell books before they buy them. I’m a big fan of book stores and find them far more user-friendly than browsing and searching for books online. Maybe I might be in the minority. But for me, if book design was something different I expected, it’d change my mind.
We’ve got to move with the times. Brick-and-mortar stores will find it hard to make go of it if they only sell merchandise and don’t provide added value.
Regarding added value, more retailers are now offering special services. Home improvement stores offer classes for would-be DIYers. Starbucks offers Coffee classes here. For the retailers hope to lure shoppers away from their screens with eye-catching displays and outstanding personal service. That’s very well and important strategy. But the sad truth is store clerks often spend a lot of time giving information to customers who then leave the store and buy products online. That’s known in the trade as “showrooming”. I can see retailers are struggling to get by and It’s too gulty to do showrooming for me.
Another reason for the declining fortune of traditional retailers. the Grate recession had a big effect on consumer spending habits. It made people put a greater value on experiences, as opposed to material possessions. Americans seem to want get the most out of life while they can, instead of shrimping and saving. This reminded me of my friends who worked for s travel agency. She offered customers travel plans and information, but they didn’t use them because they could book online cheaper travels than she offered. It was so deplorable. Add value was nothing.
Through this topic, I checked my shopping history . I use online supermarket. This is good but make sure to check quantity and if it’s right product you want. I still need Brick-and-mortar stores. Since I have a little baby, I sometimes feel isolated from society. Communication with adults are very important connecting people. And personally I want to spend more on experiences. There’re enough rental stores. I’ve used online rental dress store for my friend’s wedding. I don’t need to own my funcy dress. It’s good time now that we can get things done online mostly. However, I don’t forget the upside to the retail stores.