Yes, the Internet has changed the way we shop. But taken together, other factors have caused greater harm to traditional retail stores, an economist says.
By Austan Goolsbee | The New York Times
It has been a tough decade for brick-and-mortar retailers, and matters seem only to be getting worse.
Despite a strong consumer economy, physical retailers closed more than 9,000 stores in 2019 — more than the total in 2018, which surpassed the record of 2017. Already this year, retailers have announced more than 1,200 more intended closings, including 125 Macy’s stores.
Some people call what has happened to the shopping landscape “the retail apocalypse.” It is easy to chalk it up to the rise of e-commerce, which has thrived while physical stores struggle. And there is no denying that Amazon and other online retailers have changed consumer behavior radically or that big retailers like Walmart and Target have tried to beef up their own online presence.