Why Are Stores Closing, And What Can They Do About It?

Post written by

Joel Goldstein

Joel Goldstein is the President of Mr. Checkout Distributors, host of the Retail Summit Podcast and author of Start from Success.

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Large retailers are coming to the end of an era where customers often had no other choice than to purchase the products in their stores. According to Coresight Research (via CBS News), over 12,000 retail stores could close their doors in 2019. I believe a lot of the retailers are not just feeling the squeeze from online competition, but they are also seeing that their structures aren’t efficient enough for the new retail landscape and are restructuring to come back: One example of this is Toys R Us. However, as national retail stores close, there are more and more opportunities for smaller independent businesses to fill the void that they leave behind.

Some companies, like Payless ShoeSource, closed all of their stores, while Charming Charlie said it would close its remaining stores after filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time. I believe companies are struggling with business structures that don't change fast enough to keep up with consumer trends while offering prices that are competitive with online retailers.

This is confusing to headline spectators who view strong retail sales numbers that beat expectations. I believe a strong economy is boosting the overall number of sales, while the consumer is driving which segments see that demand spike. I have been seeing that consumer fad products, from electronics to novelties, have been going through a pricing renaissance in which product trends are often duplicated and knocked off at a faster speed than it takes the original brand to expand its operations.

The trends have been showing that to stay relevant in retail, it helps to be agile and able to play with each other well. Retailers collaborating with each other has been one of the latest trends I've seen taking hold in 2019, with stores like Macy’s, Miracle-Gro and Dick’s Sporting Goods relying on each other’s strengths. Find businesses that service your customers in ways that you don’t to create perfect opportunities for cross-promotion.

One key to longevity is having a strong network in the community that you can integrate with your business. Creating those community connections allows you the opportunity to cross-promote on the local level and develop awareness in your local market faster. As globalization makes our world smaller, it seems that more people are looking for ways to connect with their local communities. Sometimes that means going to a farmers market on the weekend or frequenting a local coffee shop over a national chain.

The ability to stay relevant is a factor that so many larger businesses may struggle with, as I've noticed that they often have slower buying processes and consumers that demand that their pricing is in line with online competitors. Staying relevant is a tall order for larger businesses when they can lose consumer loyalty with the wrong tweet or political endorsement, which can endanger future sales.

I believe the future of retail is small, nimble businesses with lower overhead that deliver excellent customer service, unique products and expert advice that would take someone hours to research at home. Locally owned franchises often embody this kind of business with a culture of helping the customer without thought to the cost of employees' time.

Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only community for sales and biz dev executives. Do I qualify?
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Large retailers are coming to the end of an era where customers often had no other choice than to purchase the products in their stores. According to Coresight Research (via CBS News), over 12,000 retail stores could close their doors in 2019. I believe a lot of the retailers are not just feeling the squeeze from online competition, but they are also seeing that their structures aren’t efficient enough for the new retail landscape and are restructuring to come back: One example of this is Toys R Us. However, as national retail stores close, there are more and more opportunities for smaller independent businesses to fill the void that they leave behind.

Some companies, like Payless ShoeSource, closed all of their stores, while Charming Charlie said it would close its remaining stores after filing for bankruptcy protection for the second time. I believe companies are struggling with business structures that don't change fast enough to keep up with consumer trends while offering prices that are competitive with online retailers.

This is confusing to headline spectators who view strong retail sales numbers that beat expectations. I believe a strong economy is boosting the overall number of sales, while the consumer is driving which segments see that demand spike. I have been seeing that consumer fad products, from electronics to novelties, have been going through a pricing renaissance in which product trends are often duplicated and knocked off at a faster speed than it takes the original brand to expand its operations.

The trends have been showing that to stay relevant in retail, it helps to be agile and able to play with each other well. Retailers collaborating with each other has been one of the latest trends I've seen taking hold in 2019, with stores like Macy’s, Miracle-Gro and Dick’s Sporting Goods relying on each other’s strengths. Find businesses that service your customers in ways that you don’t to create perfect opportunities for cross-promotion.

One key to longevity is having a strong network in the community that you can integrate with your business. Creating those community connections allows you the opportunity to cross-promote on the local level and develop awareness in your local market faster. As globalization makes our world smaller, it seems that more people are looking for ways to connect with their local communities. Sometimes that means going to a farmers market on the weekend or frequenting a local coffee shop over a national chain.

The ability to stay relevant is a factor that so many larger businesses may struggle with, as I've noticed that they often have slower buying processes and consumers that demand that their pricing is in line with online competitors. Staying relevant is a tall order for larger businesses when they can lose consumer loyalty with the wrong tweet or political endorsement, which can endanger future sales.

I believe the future of retail is small, nimble businesses with lower overhead that deliver excellent customer service, unique products and expert advice that would take someone hours to research at home. Locally owned franchises often embody this kind of business with a culture of helping the customer without thought to the cost of employees' time.

Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only community for sales and biz dev executives. Do I qualify?

Joel Goldstein is the President of Mr. Checkout Distributors, host of the Retail Summit Podcast and author of Start from Success.

Forbes Business Development Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization for senior-level sales and business development executives. Find out if you qualify at ...