A major brick-and-mortar retail store closed recently in the town where I live. The problem for those of us who live here or in the surrounding area is that it was one of the few stores like it for over a hundred miles.
If I want to buy any of the kinds of products they were selling I now have to either do it online, or jump in my car and drive at least an hour and a half. One way.
That’s a lot of time wasted driving back and forth when I could be doing something else, like running my business.
But, the retail chain I am talking about is not alone. Every few months I hear about other retail businesses that are closing some of their store fronts.
Why Retail Stores Fail
I started wondering why so many businesses are closing their brick-and-mortar locations. After some pondering, I feel like there are 4 main reasons these retail businesses may be dying out.
1. Prices of Brick-and-Mortar Retail
When I shop these days I do a lot of it online. There are several reasons for this, but one includes price.
Many physical stores simply can’t compete with their online counterparts when it comes to what they charge.
Trying to save money in your personal budget causes you to be more selective with your shopping. Retail customers are more focused on stretching their budgets these days than ever before.
It stands to reason, then, that you aren’t going to waste time and gas money to go to a brick and mortar store. Why would you when you can get the same or similar products online for less money? This is especially true since many online retailers are also offering free shipping to your doorstep these days.
Another of the reasons most brick-and-mortar retail businesses are dying out is simply that we now have more choices. Again, the internet has completely changed the way consumers used to buy their products.
With the touch of a few buttons on your phone or computer you can find the products you want and need. In fact, the same products are usually available at anywhere from a few to a thousand or more different retailers.
Anytime you needed something in the past, you had to go to a store to get it because you had no other choice. Now, if you don’t need it immediately you can order it online and still have it at your door within a couple of days.
I don’t know about other people, but my time is extremely valuable these days. Because time is a factor in how I make my living, I am forced to make the most of it.
This compels me to shop in the most convenient way I can in order to optimize the number of hours in my day. Therefore, I can take a quick break from work and do part of my personal and household shopping online whenever I want.
I am sure convenience drives other consumers to shop online as well. Rather than going to a brick-and-mortar store, you can shop any time you want and get what you need.
4. Customer Service
Have you ever gone into a store and been treated rudely or ignored by the sales people? Everyone experiences this at one time or another, so I’m sure you’re not an exception.
Poor customer service just doesn’t cut it anymore in the brick-and-mortar world. If a retailer wants to keep your business, they must treat you well and be willing to give you their time.
They must do this because otherwise you can go somewhere else or order online to get the same products for the same amount of money or possibly less.
With everything said, are retail stores going to continue to die out until there are none left? I don’t think so.
My feeling is that the world of retail is evolving and will continue to evolve. It may even become better despite the fact that it may be due to necessity.
But with all of these reasons most brick-and-mortar retail business are dying out, retailers have no choice. They either change to give customers what they want, or they’ll eventually die.
Republished by permission. Original here.
Source: Small Business Trends