March 18, 2016
Thanks for joining Connect Retail! Ian Ritter, our contributor, is a freelance journalist who has covered the commercial real estate and retail industries for more than 15 years. He was the founding author of “Counter Culture,” a highly trafficked blog, where he was the retail editor for nearly a decade. He writes for various publications and corporations, and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
I hate starting off a column with a bummer topic. There are so many fun and interesting things happening in retail right now, which we will explore in depth later. But the fact of the matter is that the industry is experiencing a slew of store closures already announced this year.
Retailers shutting down stores is becoming major news nowadays, and it spreads throughout sectors. There are almost too many major chains closing to mention in one story. I could name a list off that would probably cure insomnia, but we should touch on a few recent ones. Staples is closing 50 locations. Earlier this month, Tailored Brands, which owns Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank, and other chains, reported that it is closing 250 stores, including all outlet units.
Both of these companies have great histories of strong sales and profitability, but now, something is amiss.
It’s really popular to blame Amazon for all of the problems that brick-and-mortar retailers face. But the thing is, most of the top online retailers, using public financial stats, are places like Walmart, and other chains with several storefronts. Look at this list of the biggest online retailers. Out of the five, three have major physical store counts, and Amazon is planning on opening more physical stores.
Of course, this is all seemingly alarming for retail real estate landlords. But we have a lot of good concepts that we can discuss in the near future, and show how shopping-center owners are adapting. We look forward to sharing them with you, every Friday!
We welcome you to leave a reply with your opinions on the matter.