Experts call it, “Retail Apocalypse” when major players in the retail industry are dropping like flies. Reports say, US malls have not been this empty since 2012, when the retail industry was attempting to crawl back up after the Great Recession.
Last year alone, about 7,000 stores closed, nationwide.
Where are all the people shopping? Well…. online!
42-year old Francis Dela Cruz, who is a self-proclaimed shoe shopaholic stopped shopping at brick-&-mortar stores three years ago when he realized that buying online is the way to go.
“‘Pag sa store ka bibili, laging out-of-stock. Laging walang size. Unlike sa online. mas mabilis at walang hassle.”
As the retail industry continues to struggle, Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce giant, steals market share from traditional retailers.
Millennials Natalie and Melissa were not surprised with how online shopping is taking over the industry.
“It’s more convenient, rather than trying to find time to go to the mall, with busy schedules and with being in school, it’s easier for me to online shop, and know that’s it’s just going to be delivered to my house.”
“When I shop online, I have access to a lot more options. When I’m looking at one website, I can also go to another website and compare prices,” agreed Melissa.
Unemployment rose to 4% last month according to The Labor Department, and despite gains in other sectors, retail is the only segment of the economy that significantly reduced and continues to reduce employment.
As of May, Sears Holdings Corporation, America’s retail giant, had 529 Sears and 365 Kmart store closings. The last Sears store in Chicago, which first opened 80 years ago, closed Sunday.
73-year old Lita Curtis says, although the retail industry has once cracked the formula on obtaining the right product at the right price into the right locations, this is not enough to save the industry.
“Customer experience is key. Wala ng loyalty loyalty.”
More brick and mortar stores are expected to shut down by the end of this year. Toys-R-Us closed all 800 of its stores after seven decades of operation. Earlier this year, Walmart’s Sam/s Club closed its 63 stores.