Who Survives? Might Some Thrive?
We’ve been posting a great deal recently about “retail-magenddon,” which is, of course, fast upon us. Every day, headlines trumpet the latest retailer to go belly-up: 300 bankruptcies this year alone, many mom and pop shops, but some majors. The sea change in how we shop is real. So is the upheaval to our retail landscape.
So, who survives?
My bet is there will be a few ‘last man standing’ brands. A smaller footprint, of course, but still. When Kmart, Sears, Macy’s, and Bloomies have exited the mall stage left, who will anchor and for what will they serve as anchor?
I’m thinking Penny’s is a survivor, helping the lagging tail of the bell curve folks who don’t want to order everything on line find what they need. Acceptable prices, acceptable selection, acceptable service. Okay, available and cheap. And, gee whiz, with parking, and an external entrance and exit to allow those folks to buy what they need in high convenience mode without ever actually visiting the rest of the wasted spaces.
Wither then, the mall? A high touch bastion devoted to services that are hard to acquire at home: Manicures, pedicures, waxing, haircut and color for women and, yes, some men; car service and repairs, technology updates and cellphones for all. Things that, at least for now, are harder to deliver directly and benefit from human interaction. Those and, of course, movie theatres and social entertainment activities, stuff for which we really like to leave home.
Oh, yes, and Starbucks, for sure.
Where do you place your bets? Which retailers will find a way through the emerging wasteland?