2017 has claimed several retailers and it doesn’t look to be slowing anytime soon. Entire malls are closing, shopping strips are empty and well-established department stores such as, Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears, are having to close hundreds of locations. Credit Suisse reports that more than 8,600 stores will shutter in 2017 – for comparison during the Great Recession of 2008, only 6,163 stores closed.
An obvious factor impacting retailers is our growing love for online shopping. There’s been a huge switch to e-commerce and brick-and-mortar shops are bearing the brunt of this trend. Over half of all US households use Amazon Prime – that equates to 80 million memberships! But the decline in in-store shopping goes beyond just Amazon.
There’s been a shift in how Americans spend their money. With help from millennial consumers, Americans are moving away from materialism and spending more on travel and dining out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2016, for the first time ever, Americans spent more money in restaurants and bars than at grocery stores. There’s a growing trend of not only spending more time with family and friends, but also being able to share experiences on social media which is leading more consumers to step into restaurants instead of malls.
What can retailers do?
There’s no way to slow down online shopping, but instead of competing with online shopping platforms, retailers need to embrace the omni-channel approach. Create a strategy that includes both online and offline channels and mix the best parts. Finding ways to translate the online shopping experience offline is a tough feat, but retailers who are able to do this are also able to keep customers coming in-store. Maintaining a unique atmosphere, great service and special deals — experiences which can’t be had online will help bring and keep shoppers in-store.
Contact Payworks for more information!
Written by Jana Riddick, Marketing & Communications Manager at Payworks
First published on Medium on 18-05-2017