Article Review – The Great Retail Apocalypse of 2017 (From: The Atlantic)

The headline is dramatic! A fascinating read that hails from the USA, however there are definite parallels to us here – see if you agree from what you feel is happening in the streets (and what you do yourself..!).

The article summary –

  • There have been nine retail bankruptcies in 2017 (Spendless Shoes hit Australia too).
  • Last week, several apparel companies’ stocks hit new multi-year lows, including Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, and American Eagle, and Ralph Lauren announced that it is closing its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue, one of several brands to abandon that iconic thoroughfare.
  • Online and experiences are in fashion (excuse the pun from above..).

Because –

  1. People are simply buying more stuff online than they used to;
    1. Confidence to use Credit Cards and easy returns/postage policies.
  2. Too many malls/Shopping Centres (does Australia suffer the same problem..?) Yes, perhaps more isolated, does anyone go to Toombul or Lutwyche?!
    1. The Australian trend might be along the lines of the above to ‘Super Centres’ like Chermside
  3. Shifting of spending from materialism to meals out with friends;
    1. “What’s up? Travel is booming. Hotel occupancy is booming. Domestic airlines have flown more passengers each year since 2010” (US).
    2. “The rise of restaurants is even more dramatic. Since 2005, sales at “food services and drinking places” have grown twice as fast as all other retail spending. In 2016, for the first time ever, Americans spent more money in restaurants and bars than at grocery stores”.
    3. “Experiences that make the best social media content — conventional beach pic or a well-lit plate of glistening avocado toast. “what experience will reliably deliver the most popular Instagram post?”

There is no question that the most significant trend affecting brick-and-mortar stores is the relentless march of Amazon and other online retail companies. But the recent meltdown for retail brands is equally about the legacy of the Great Recession, which punished logo-driven brands, put a premium on experiences (particularly those that translate into social media moments), and unleashed a surprising golden age for restaurants.

Retail that works? The Instagram stories & experiences like food, beauty,etc.

Lastly, the article talks about the future with Driverless Cars.. Imagine you want a new watch and a ‘watch-shop car’ is hovering in your suburb ready drive over and show you in person?

Read the full article: The Great Retail Apocalypse of 2017 – The Atlantic

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