NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The highly hyped Amazon Prime Day sends shoppers online in search of big bargains. But, are our online habits to blame for the store closings that are now so common?
Katharine Monroe of Dallas is an unapologetic online shopper, saying brick and mortar malls are often full of “outdated” items.
“Usually they don’t have it in stock, or the size I want, the color,” says Monroe, 20, “even LuLu– they have outlet stores online. It’s just easier.”
The millennial says going ‘shopping’ usually is more about socializing with friends than finding wanted items… and she enjoys the convenience of shopping online.
“It’s extra time you don’t have to spend,” says Monroe, “it’s so much easier, you can consolidate all of the steps with just a click of a button online.”
No wonder then, that some estimates put the number of store closings this year at more than 8,000. That’s a higher than even during the Great Recession of 2008.
“It’s a tough time for brick and mortar retailers, right now,” says Ed Fox, a marketing professor at SMU’s Cox School of Business. He says the shift to online shopping certainly doesn’t help your local store stay afloat. But, our ‘itch-to-click’ isn’t solely to blame.
“Turns out, there are other structural factors, like too many stores, too much debt and too much promotion that are punishing retailers at least as much as Amazon and the online business,” says Fox.
The slow death of once prominent retail centers can also hasten neighborhood decline.
“As a homeowner, it could potentially take the value down of the zip code around here,” says Melissa Monroe, of the nearby Valley View Mall space.
Thus, Monroe was delighted to learn that construction is expected to kick off early next year on a mixed use development that will include retail and green space. “It’s supposed to be beautiful,” says Monroe, “great for property values, great for the experience of living here and being so close to many great opportunities.”