The decline of retail, August 2016 edition

Per Ad Age:

The number of brick-and-mortar retail outposts is again on the wane as consumers shift their shopping online. Macy’s plans to close 100, or 14%, of its 728 stores, the retailer announced Thursday during its second-quarter earnings report. The brand exceeded analyst expectations by reporting a 3.9% drop to $5.7 billion in net sales for the 13 weeks ending July 30. Results were not as grim as the disastrous first quarter, when Macy’s and several brands reported sales declines following a lackluster holiday season.

The store closures, the majority of which will go dark early next year, follow the shuttering of 41 Macy’s in fiscal 2015. No specific locations were announced.


Experts agree that there will always be a need for brick-and-mortar, yet the bloated size and fleets of decades past is now weighing down brands who need to be more nimble in a digital era.

“A lot of brick-and-mortar retailers signed leases 20 years ago for store configurations and square footage that, today, they don’t need,” said Michael Goldberg, chief executive of Zimmerman Advertising, in a recent interview with Ad Age. “What you really need in brick-and-mortar is an accent to what you do with your other channels.”

Michael Lowrey

Michael Lowrey is a contributor to Carolina Journal and a policy analyst for the John Locke Foundation. Lowrey has written numerous articles for the foundation on topics su...

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