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The Disappearance of Retail


Retail in America has been in a downward spiral lately.  The downward trend has gained momentum over the past few years.  Many years ago, one would assume you were crazy if you ever put the words “Macy’s” and “closings” in the same sentence.  But the truth is it’s happening.  And it isn’t just Macy’s.  Sears is also feeling the pain, and might not survive.  The recent trend among retail closings can be attributed to many factors, and online shopping is a major one.  People fear that online shopping is destroying the consumer culture and that it isn’t the same as physically going out to buy something.  Amazon is attracting so many people because of their low prices.  The local mom and pop shop cannot compete.  But, just go to your suburban shopping center or plaza and gaze at the number of vehicles in the parking lot.  People are out and people are shopping, but perhaps they aren’t insistent on going to the same traditional stores their parents went to.  At a time when the economy began to contract during 2008, retail did not.  In today’s economy, all retail stores survive on credit and hope of a busier day than the last.  For a short time, promises in the media of an economic recovery kept the hopes of retail stores alive, when in reality they couldn’t even sell the inventory they already had on the shelf.  There just isn’t a need for an inventory anymore or to hear the phrase, “Please wait here while I look in the back.”


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