Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Store closings a plenty

Both Staples and Radio Shack announced store closings this past week. CNN Money offers up a short but highly informative explanation of what’s up with these and other retail store closings. A key point:

Part of the problem for stores is that there is just too much retail space in many markets. There are about 46 square feet of retail space for every man, woman and child in the United States, according to Robin Lewis, CEO of The Robin Report, a retail strategy newsletter. That’s five times the space than in any other country,

“We’ve had overcapacity in this country for a long, long time,” said Lewis. “The economy now has gotten to the point where it is forcing [retailers] to contract.”

So are Amazon and other online retailers to blame for recent store closings? Yes, but only to a degree:

The growth in online sales is simply making problems at some chains more severe, experts say, not causing the problem by itself.

“It is too simple to say this is what Amazon has wrought,” said [Greg Apter, president of Chicago-based Hilco Real Estate]. “But the online business makes the market more saturated. That’s enough to turn what might have been 100 store closings into 120.”

2 Responses to “Store closings a plenty”

  • Mar

    I do attempt to buy from these businesses-however, one would think they would respond to the online challenges by offering decent in person customer service. But no. My last visit to Radio Shack for an Apple iPhone cable I had to have to charge a phone was agony. Why do they ask for all the demographic information when I’m paying cash? And no, I did not give it to them. I also went in, in 2013 and got a Nokia 520, which is a prepaid Windows smart phone. Very nice, by the way. I had a coupon I’d gotten online and knew exactly what I wanted. But the guy who helped me was just unpleasant. He didn’t even know they had it and that it was on sale. Why put up with such people? I can buy from Amazon with a couple clicks and they’ll bring it to me.

    Staples? Same problem. Wanted to buy a Win 8 touchscreen laptop, and they advertised it in their circular.
    Again, go in to see it and not only don’t they have it to try, I’m told they never do and I have to look at it on line. The irony! Well, BJ’s Wholesale had it on display and it worked and I got it from there. I went into Staples in 2012 for a monitor in their circular and the manager didn’t even know it was in the ad. He did find it and sell it to me, but again, you have to know your stock.

    I feel for the people that are impacted by this but didn’t their companies plan for the new retail age?

  • Mar

    the “New” retail? Getting gas, having your windshield wiped and a check of oil and tire pressure is what people say they want: good service. Gas stations focused on good service went out of business. It’s that simple.

    customers say they want good service, but businesses know what matters. Its synonymous with voters saying they want honest and chivalrous leaders, but those who win elections don’t fall for that nonsense. It’s easy to tell who might possibly be honest, chivalrous, and caring: they either lost, or are about to lose an election or a business.

    note: I’m not proposing that it’s wrong to treat people the way they should be treated, just that people who don’t know business often overestimate the value of their opinions. (service stations know it’s zero when the price board is 1 cent less than across the street.)

February 2016
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