The Death Of Retail

Geez, following news of Macy’s and Sears, now this…

I don’t know…so many people losing jobs is NOT good

Retail is going down due to rising Amazon. Since more than 10% of the country are working retail jobs, this could be serious social problem. Did Trump threaten Amazon on anti-trust? If Amazon dominates the world’s retail, it may put more than 100 millions of people out of job.

“There are more than 15 million people working in retail jobs today, accounting for more than 1 out of every 10 employed workers in the country and 1 out of every 6 private sector jobs added to the economy last year.”

And The Donald has not even been sworn in yet…

  • higher interest rates
  • retail chains closing

It will be interesting how your folks’ stock market is going to view this tomorrow. Aren’t we taught that the market likes stability and certainty? Well, continuing news of job losses can’t be good for the psyche right?

Only 18% of retail is done online. What will be the balance point between online and brick and mortar? Wait until drone deliveries lower the cost per delivery for online retail. There could be a lot more retail to fail. Also, this isn’t going to help commercial real estate rents/prices. Retail is some of the highest $/sq ft. Online is based on warehouse which is some of the lowers $/sq ft.

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Hmm, way down the road, conversion to residential living areas???

I don’t see all gloom and doom for off line retail. But they need to adapt to the online world. Even Amazon is opening brick and mortar and their concept has a heavy online influence. Brands that started life online like Warby Parker are also opening brick and mortar.

What we are seeing is that brick and mortar is best done for customers to experience the products, to get advice and help. Basically the Apple retail store model. And Apple is still opening new stores every year.

So for retail stores that just do a poor man’s job of ordering from Amazon, it’s not going to cut it anymore. Adapt or die.

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So, are you suggesting just the shedding of the bad wood?

Bricks and mortars are in secular decline since www is intended. New formula is required.

Yes Apple leads in retail innovation and many retailers are copying Apple. I think retailers should upgrade the customer service reps as personal stylists and occasions dressers.

Currently sale girls just stand around and look pretty. They need to do more, like advising on color, cutting, fabric and clothing coordination for the customers. Big box Retailers should aim to be a place for social gathering, so hold some events such as talk show, magic show, skits, etc occasionally.


Yes, that’s exactly what I have in mind too.

Amazon started out as an online bookseller. But do people know there is a physical bookstore in Taiwan whose business is so good it opens for 24 hours a day? Now it’s even a tourist destination, a must-go for the more cultured crowd.

What attracts the large and loyal crowds is not only the wide selection of books – there are around 250,000 in the Dunnan store alone – but Eslite’s policy of allowing customers to read for as long as they want without having to buy. But how does the company, which has 42 branches in Taiwan and one in Hong Kong, make money (around US$430m/ £274m last year) if it lets customers use its stores like a library? Well, there is also a wine cellar, teashops, clothing boutiques, a food court and cafes. Music and dance performances, film screenings, art exhibits and cooking shows – all promoting books – are a further draw.

Online is about buying physical products. Offline is about experience and social. I still don’t understand why Barnes and Noble doesn’t make a trip to Taiwan and copy Eslite’s model.

First of all Macy’s is just expensive. Why bother? It’s only there for a generation of Baby Boomers who like Macy’s and don’t shop online… So maybe there’s still a place for it, but it will go by the wayside. Even my MIL shops at a different big-box store now, but still big-box.

Second, Sears did catalog sales way back when. Amazon is simply the new Sears Catalog. With color. Although you still can’t order a house on Amazon–with Sears Catalog you could :slight_smile: So there.

I have been loyal customer of Amazon (buying almost everything from Amazon except grocery) since I want to minimize my shopping time.
It has been working really great until last Thursday.
Unfortunately, last Thursday, amazon delivered bunch of boxes (including save&subscribe) on that day and everything was gone when we got back home. I highly suspect my packages were stolen…
We are going to set up security camera but I heard stories about package theft even with security cam and people being inside. Somehow, I am hearing similar stories a lot recently in South Bay and Peninsula (where most of my friends live.).
This really discourage me to do more online shopping, although amazon agreed to send all replacement this time.
I don’t think they would agree to do this if same thing happens over and over again.

Do you guys have any tips to prevent packet theft?
I guess Amazon’s biggest risk is not any other retailer or online company but package thieves.
Right now, I am thinking of putting fence near front door, installing security cam and ordering on Wednesday night so that we can get the packages on Saturday (as much as possible…). However, none of them may not work well if we are targeted as heavy only shopper. Sigh…

I found below interesting product but am not sure how useful this would be. Has anyone used this?

Malls is another Midwest creation. It makes sense for the cold weather in Midwest. But in our sunny state it’s a waste. The condos+retail model like Santana Row seems to be way to go. That has been how we did retail for centuries. You don’t drive to a mall in the suburb. You just walk downstairs to the shops and restaurants. Malls is a detour and now we are coming back to the old way.

Back in the 70s and 80s, suburb, malls and big box retail were all the rage. But now the pendulum is swinging back to urban. Many malls are being torn down and replaced with open-air housing+retail. The one in Sunnyvale downtown is one example. Are they tearing down that crappy fashion mall in Cupertino? It’s way past its prime.

Yes. More suitable for urban and warm climate. So as suburban becomes more urbanized, malls would be replaced by mixed buildings.

@Jane Amazon also has lockers in many places. Maybe you can have your stuff delivered to a nearby locker instead?

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How about our wet weather in the winter? No one likes to shop amid the pouring rains.

But a monster mall is really a product of automobile society. We are moving to a car-less society.

People have posted video from their Ring cameras, and I have been impressed. You definitely need to consider placement (don’t get video of people’s backs only).

We have had a spate of thefts in Redwood City as well.

Thanks, manch.
I will check that!