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Housedays
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10 Dec 2013, 6:25 pm

Will retail stores die out, being replaced by online shopping?



Kraichgauer
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10 Dec 2013, 7:16 pm

There will always be retail stores that will go out of business - I had grown up with Montgomery Wards, and can still recall being astonished when they finally closed up shop. That said, I think it's a long time till the obituary can be written for every retail store out there, as people will always enjoy going shopping, with the option of trying on clothing and just being able to touch the products they are considering on buying. That, and leaving all their employees jobless if stores were to close their doors might very well be disastrous for the economy.


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10 Dec 2013, 7:29 pm

Good question. Theres a real possibility of that. You won't see an end of shops per sae, but eventually you'll see the end of shops whose services can be replicated online.

Just look at what is happening to CD shops these days. What happened to the likes of HMV brings a tear to my eye.

I think cities of the future will comprise entirely of gentrified high rent apartments with occasional fast food chains, government offices, private medical clinics and coffee shops dotted here and there. The commuters will always want their morning caffeine fix. Possibly banks as well. Thats it.


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thomas81
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10 Dec 2013, 7:35 pm

Kraichgauer wrote:
leaving all their employees jobless if stores were to close their doors might very well be disastrous for the economy.


The one percent have never been so far sighted to care about such things.


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10 Dec 2013, 7:40 pm

Google Shopping Express promises to deliver customers anything they want in 24 hours. They've only rolled out the service to select cities in the Bay Area, but once it goes (inter)national, it will really change the competitive landscape of both online retail and retail in general.

There are a few goods I have trouble seeing as online goods. Produce is one -- how can you get the head of lettuce that looks best to you? I also anticipate a movement for high-end brick and mortar shopping, as consumers crave an "authentic" experience. The wealthiest consumers will always want to go to Nieman Marcus because it's a pleasurable shopping experience. Unless stores are able to market the experience they provide, though, they will likely die out in the next 15 years.



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10 Dec 2013, 7:45 pm

lotuspuppy wrote:
Google Shopping Express promises to deliver customers anything they want in 24 hours. They've only rolled out the service to select cities in the Bay Area, but once it goes (inter)national, it will really change the competitive landscape of both online retail and retail in general.

There are a few goods I have trouble seeing as online goods. Produce is one -- how can you get the head of lettuce that looks best to you? I also anticipate a movement for high-end brick and mortar shopping, as consumers crave an "authentic" experience. The wealthiest consumers will always want to go to Nieman Marcus because it's a pleasurable shopping experience. Unless stores are able to market the experience they provide, though, they will likely die out in the next 15 years.


I don't know about America or the rest of the world, but here in the British isles online food shopping is quite popular. It works in tandem with regular food shopping. Alternatively to going to a food shop, you can get your groceries delivered to your door from a supermarket. It costs extra to do so so it makes good business sense from the perspective of the supermarket.

Its quite possible they could phase out supermarket stores and replace it with a central depot that does nothing but online delivery.


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lotuspuppy
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10 Dec 2013, 8:21 pm

thomas81 wrote:
lotuspuppy wrote:
Google Shopping Express promises to deliver customers anything they want in 24 hours. They've only rolled out the service to select cities in the Bay Area, but once it goes (inter)national, it will really change the competitive landscape of both online retail and retail in general.

There are a few goods I have trouble seeing as online goods. Produce is one -- how can you get the head of lettuce that looks best to you? I also anticipate a movement for high-end brick and mortar shopping, as consumers crave an "authentic" experience. The wealthiest consumers will always want to go to Nieman Marcus because it's a pleasurable shopping experience. Unless stores are able to market the experience they provide, though, they will likely die out in the next 15 years.


I don't know about America or the rest of the world, but here in the British isles online food shopping is quite popular. It works in tandem with regular food shopping. Alternatively to going to a food shop, you can get your groceries delivered to your door from a supermarket. It costs extra to do so so it makes good business sense from the perspective of the supermarket.

Its quite possible they could phase out supermarket stores and replace it with a central depot that does nothing but online delivery.

This is true, but Britain has always had a strong mail-order shopping business. I think that's why online retail is so widely accepted here.

I think in the U.S. (and probably some other societies), shopping has been a form of recreation since WWII. The indoor shopping mall took off so rapidly here because it was fun. Even today, while malls in general are declining, you are starting to see "power centers" (strip malls anchored by big box stores) and "lifestyle centers" (shopping mall like facilities with residential and office space). I think more and more people are viewing shopping as utilitarian, much like what happened to driving a generation ago. But there will always be people who shop for fun.



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10 Dec 2013, 9:33 pm

Housedays wrote:
Will retail stores die out, being replaced by online shopping?


Retail stores that sell stuff that can also be gotten on line are in trouble. Opening and maintaining a retail store is an expensive proposition. Aside from building (or buying) the store and fitting it out, one must hire some help to serve customers.

What is happening is that people are going into brick and mortar store to look over the product. If they like what they see then they can order it on line. The only way to lessen this trend is to make on line providers collect the sales tax which many currently do not do. Not collecting the tax gives the on line vendor a built in advantage over operators of brick and mortar stores.

If this keeps up, brick and mortar stores will simply become showrooms.

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11 Dec 2013, 12:48 am

I highly doubt it esspecially since there are millions of Walmarts and Targets all over the place.


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11 Dec 2013, 12:53 am

thomas81 wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
leaving all their employees jobless if stores were to close their doors might very well be disastrous for the economy.


The one percent have never been so far sighted to care about such things.


(Sigh) I know. And to think, these creatures control our destinies.


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11 Dec 2013, 8:26 am

lotuspuppy wrote:
Google Shopping Express promises to deliver customers anything they want in 24 hours. They've only rolled out the service to select cities in the Bay Area, but once it goes (inter)national, it will really change the competitive landscape of both online retail and retail in general.

There are a few goods I have trouble seeing as online goods. Produce is one -- how can you get the head of lettuce that looks best to you? I also anticipate a movement for high-end brick and mortar shopping, as consumers crave an "authentic" experience. The wealthiest consumers will always want to go to Nieman Marcus because it's a pleasurable shopping experience. Unless stores are able to market the experience they provide, though, they will likely die out in the next 15 years.


Yes, I think stores will become more niche.

In addition to grocery and high end "shopping experience" stores I think there will also still be:

-very low end stores that sell crappy merchandise at an extreme discount

-bulk stores that sell mid-range merchandise in very large quantities (40 rolls of toilet paper in a box etc.) that is inefficient to pay for shipping

-home repair stores selling merchandise too heavy or oddly shaped to be efficient for shipping (concrete mix, lumber etc.)

-gardening stores selling live plants for home planting (shipping shrubs without killing them would easily double their cost)

-luddite stores (my term) which are not high end (unlike Neiman Marcus) but instead serve the mid-range customer who can't bear to see favorite types of stores dying out (used bookstores, cluttered knick-knack shops etc.)

-tech stores which are only partly retail and mostly service oriented (demonstrating/explaining products, doing swaps and repairs) such as the Apple store and Verizon store.

-furniture stores because people often want to try such merchandise before buying it and having it delivered to them (sitting on chairs, lying on beds, opening and cl;osing warddrobe doors)

- stores operating on the showroom model- you examine the merchandise in the "store" (showroom) and have it delivered (sinks, counters, garden sheds, appliances, jet skis, small boats etc.)

-stores where you really do have to try something on (skis/ski boots, shoes, wedding dresses etc.)



Last edited by Janissy on 11 Dec 2013, 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

zer0netgain
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11 Dec 2013, 8:36 am

No.

1. Some things will always need to be sold in person. Clothing is such an example.

2. Just as Wal Mart has murdered many small businesses with cheap goods from overseas, the ability to compete with Wal Mart has to do with providing what Wal Mart doesn't have...individual service and better quality goods. Menswear stores are such an example. You can get dress clothes at Wal Mart, but they are of lousy quality and don't hold up. A menswear store might cost more, but you get stuff that looks good on you, fits properly, and even a staff that will help you get what you need based on your budget.

3. Even if your competition is Amazon, if a local retailer can get the item cheaper via online, they might be able to work the "shop local" angle to get customers to still come in and get an item through them. When I need a motorcycle part, I see what I can get it for online, and if the local store can get it for about the same price (as shipping is a cost factor to consider), I'll buy it from them if there is no significant savings with online.



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11 Dec 2013, 8:38 am

I think it will depend upon the wares: So I would not buy shoes, that I plan to wear everyday, in an online shop. I want to test them and really know, if they fit well.

Buying PC-mouses is the same for me. Most gaming mouses are actually designed to fit for the hands of scandinavian saga-giants, so I simply need to touch it myself to know, if it actually fits my hand or not. No use for 15 super extra buttons, if I cant reach them comfortly. -.-

The same will be for cloths you normally buy to wear it for a longer time as an suit or a long coat as example. It was actually pretty hard for me to find a fitting long coat for females, because I am slim, but have broad shoulders. So either they are to wide and look like a sack, or they are too small and I cant move my arms propperly.

Comics stores are as well nice to go. You go there for a certain comic series, but every time you are there you are as well looking upon the others, and find so on accident something new you like. I know that most online shops do as well recommend you other stuff as well, but its simply not the same. ^^ The same goes for roleplaying shop, they are a treasure of weird stuff, you did not even know that you needed, before going there. ^^

And I dont mind buying general groceries online, but fresh food as flesh, vegetables, fruits, I simply need to see, before buying it.



thomas81
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12 Dec 2013, 9:42 am

AspieOtaku wrote:
I highly doubt it esspecially since there are millions of Walmarts and Targets all over the place.


If closing those stores means not having to pay the people who work there, then that could mean profit if you run Walmart or Target.


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12 Dec 2013, 10:25 am

For the foreseeable future, there will be retail stores but I expect that you will see more shop online/store pickup.

The store I source a lot of stuff for work has an 18 minute order ready time.



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13 Dec 2013, 9:27 am

I would think not. What would happen to people without internet and/or credit cards?

How would you buy things that have to be tried on in order to fit?

How would you buy anything with a scent? You couldn't smell it over the internet.

I need to see things in person and touch and examine them before I buy them. I also don't like getting packages in the mail because they usually just leave them on the porch and anyone walking by could steal them.