business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports on new data from Coresight Research saying that “as the internet continues to change shopping habits, stores across the United States continue to close. Less than halfway through April, American retailers have announced plans this year to shut 5,994 stores, exceeding the 5,854 announced in all of 2018.

The story goes on: “Retailers in good financial shape are paring locations as their leases expire, while brands like Payless ShoeSource and Charlotte Russe are filing for bankruptcy and shutting hundreds of stores within months. Payless and Gymboree — which both filed for bankruptcy this year for a second time — account for almost half of the announced closings.”

And, the Times writes: “The announced closings still have a ways to go before they reach the 2017 record of more than 8,000. And openings and renovations are still taking place. Coresight has tracked announcements of 2,641 store openings by retailers in the United States this year, compared with 3,239 for all of 2018. Many of this year’s openings are dollar stores and other discount chains — areas that are less threatened by e-commerce right now. Online retailers like Warby Parker are also opening stores, though on a small scale.”
KC's View:
It isn’t an absolute rule, but I think it is a pretty good starting point to work on the following premise…

Bricks-and-mortar stores will survive.

But not all of them.

Just the good ones. The ones have have differentiated experiences, products and people. The ones that are both relevant and resonant. The ones that leave no stones unturned in their desire to satisfy shoppers and create their own kinds of ecosystems that make their stores the first and often best choice for consumers.

But if you don’t do this stuff? If you are just a mediocre, undifferentiated store that depends just on location and the illusion that being a local retailer makes you entitled?

Well then … turn out the lights., The party’s over.