Macy’s and Sears are closing stores throughout the country (250 stores in total) as trends continue to push against traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers. While nobody suggests bricks-and-mortar will completely disappear, this is yet another step in the continuing shift away from traditional retail. Previously considered anchor tenants that drove (almost literally) shoppers to large malls, the retail landscape has shifted towards smaller, more nimble, and often e-commerce linked retail. This will have large implications on the amount of retail in the country, its distribution, and the size of parcels/spaces. From recent discussions we have been having with industry experts, it seems that a quality sort is just beginning, where size and location of retail may start to give way to quality of experience and place.
In the continuing trend of the growing online shopping market-share, online shoppers (109 million) outpaced in-store shoppers (99 million) on Black Friday this year. Some of these shoppers actually did both on the same day, but the data shows a significant increase in online shopping activity from last year (2015: 103 million online and 102 million in-store). Actual expenditures online also surged ahead to $3.34 billion – a 21.6% increase over last year. And this does not include the online shopping high point of Cyber Monday that is happening today.
As we have discussed in previous posts, this trend – if it continues – will lead to a significant change in the number, location, and design of bricks-and-mortar stores. A large change to the organization of cities and the ways we live in them.
This article talks about how the combination of AV’s and E-Commerce will create havoc for the retail industry. More of our shopping will go online while bricks and mortar stores will start to act more like distribution warehouses as AV’s are sent to run errands and pick up things we need. This will have large implications for how retail works in urban areas – where it is located, how much of it we need built, and a shift (already occurring) from retail being based on a need to retail being proposed as an experience.
Large implications for activity centers throughout urbanized areas as many of them have retail as a core vitality generator.