The “retail meltdown” resulting in numerous store closings scattered throughout malls, including once major players such as Sears and Macy’s, is becoming a common issue in the United States. Bruce Clark, associate professor of marketing, believes that it is not just e-commerce causing some of these closings, but that other factors must be taken into account too, including location, store management, and the economy.
Although it may seem as if malls will soon disappear completely, Clark does not believe this will be the case.
“Weak malls (and weak stores) will close, but others will remain. That is the competitive process, for better or worse. Remember, Amazon hasn’t driven all the independent bookstores out of business either,” he said.
Clark offers a main piece of advice for mall stores that wish to remain relevant in the age of same-day delivery. Make sure customers have a desire to make the effort to visit your store in person, as compared to ordering online.
“When Amazon provides more than 200 million items within the sound of your voice (“Alexa, buy a box of cat litter”), stores need to provide a customer experience that is worth the drive,” he said.
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