As discussed on this blog, the retail industry, specifically brick and mortar stores, have found some perhaps unexpected good signs and wins as of late in their bid to maintain a model that looks to be displaced by online retailers.
However, recent events indicate brick and mortars may not be taking an upward swing, as the planned closings of retail stores in the US has already exceeded the number in all of 2018. The high number of closings appears to be a mix of profitable companies closing locations while struggling companies head into bankruptcy.
Some in the industry are insisting that it isn’t doom and gloom, as they once again point to the increased sales at retail outlets. Additionally, as noted in the NY Times article, there is still room for growing brick and mortar stores that are not impacted as much by online sales, such as discount stores.
The concerns remain, however, as the closures hit not just small or mid-sized business but are reaching beyond them to larger companies, such as Payless Shoes, which is facing bankruptcy.
It’s clear the brick and mortar retail industry is far from dead; however, those in the business needs to make sure to adapt in an environment skewed toward online shopping. In order to survive, stores, both big chains and small mom-and-pops, need to do more to entice customers into their stores and also perhaps lean into the online market and use it as part of the overall design for the business. In order to develop this approach, it’s necessary to have an experienced legal team on your side to help manage the risks and pitfalls that could be ahead in the ever-changing market.