Retail Isn’t Dying. Bad Retail is Dying. Here’s Why

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We are all familiar with the term retail apocalypse, but the truth is retail isn’t dying, but it is certainly changing its ways. In 2019, we can expect to see the retail industry in Canada weeding out the “boring” retail and delivering total brand experiences for consumers. Here are all of the reasons why retail isn’t dead and why it is really only the bad retail that is taking its last breath.

Retailers are Making Changes

In 2018, Sears closed all of its stores in Canada which opened up millions of square feet of space. Nordstrom Rack also entered the market in the Spring of 2018 presenting competition for off-price retailers. Legal marijuana dispensaries also entered the Canadian market for the first time.

In 2017, more than 50 international brands either opened stores or concessions in Canada. As you can see, retail isn’t going away, but they are adapting to stay up with the times and not fall behind consumer wants and needs.

Bad Retail is Dying

At CBRE’s 2019 Commercial Real Estate Outlook, experts touched on the fact that bad retail is falling victim because it is not delivering on total brand experience and is not adjusting to new retail paradigms. Consumers no longer want to enter a store just for a product, they are looking for an experience.

According to Forbes, retail physical store openings actually grew by more than 50% year over year in 2018. About 91% of all retail sales last year were still done in a brick-and-mortar location. It is projected that more than 80 of all retail sales will likely still be done in the physical store in the year 2025. Will retail be different? Yes. Will it die? Not unless retailers do not continue to evolve with the changing desires of consumers.

What Does Bad Retail Consist Of?

Stores that emit the same level of sameness that they have for years such as lackluster service, over-distributed and dated merchandise, one-size-fits-all marketing strategies and similar sales promotions and boring physical store environments will lose the battle to stay relevant in the retail world. For these retailers, retail is dying along with their overall brand. The bottom line is bad retailers are behind the times and do not understand the modern day consumer. They have not changed their approach to keeping up with the interactivity so many consumers are looking for when they enter a store. Interactivity doesn’t mean pushy salespeople, but it does mean that your retail environment needs to step above the norm and offer consumers something more than just a product or service.

Deloitte Gives Key Thoughts on the Future of Retail:

  • Physical retail is changing, but it is not dead
  • There is no better time than now to make changes
  • You will likely never surpass Amazon
  • It is a bad time in the retail world to be boring
  • The market will continue bifurcating
  • The future of retail won’t be evenly distributed between online and in-store sales
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