|The Fault In Our Stores
Yesterday, Target became the latest retailer to report weak earnings and shrinking physical store sales. They certainly won't be the last.
As more leading retail brands disappoint on both the top and bottom lines--and announce scores of store closings--analysts and investors may conclude that brick-and-mortar retail is going they way of the horse-drawn carriage. Unfortunately this ignores the fact that roughly 90% of all retail is still done in actual stores. It doesn't recognize that many retailers--from upstarts like Warby Parker and Bonobos, to established brands such as TJMaxx and Dollar General--are opening hundreds of new locations. It also fails to acknowledge the many important benefits of in-store shopping and that study after study shows that most consumers still prefer shopping in a store (including millennials!)
Brick-and-mortar retail is very different, but not dead. Still, most retailers will, regardless of any actions they take, continue to cede share to digital channels, whether it's their own or those of disruptive competitors. To make the best of a challenging situation, retailers need a laser-like focus on increasing their piece of a shrinking pie, while optimizing their remaining investment in physical locations. And here we must deal with the reality that aside from the inevitable forces shaping retail's future, there are many, many addressable faults in most retailers stores. Here are a few of the most pervasive issues.
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This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. You'll find a link to the original after the post.
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