Remember Borders? What about Circuit City, Tower Records, or Musicland? Those stores were all big chains back in 1995, when Amazon debuted. Now they’re all gone, due in part to pressure from the online retailer that’s upended the American retail landscape.
Jeff Bezos’ company has been blamed for killing off once-stalwart retail chains, forever changing the way we read and shop for books, and squashing small businesses. And to hear some tell it, the path to total Amazon domination is just beginning.
With all the talk of the death of brick-and-mortar retailers, it’s easy to forget that online purchases at stores like Amazon make up just 8% of total retail sales in the United States. For many products, including groceries, clothing, health and beauty products, and appliances, people still prefer to buy in store rather than online, according to a 2016 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
That’s not to say that the convenience and low prices offered by outlets like Amazon aren’t a threat to traditional stores. And it’s true that Amazon did help to put companies like Borders or Circuit City out of business, though competition from the online retailer certainly wasn’t the only reason they tanked.
“No business goes out of business due to one competitor. It’s usually due to a combination of factors,” Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University in New York, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But the Amazon factor became a major factor in those businesses gradually going out of business, from bookstores to record stores to electronics stores. They are a category killer.”
If these 10 businesses can’t figure out a solution, fast, they might be the next stores destroyed by Amazon.
Could things get worse at Macy’s? Sales are down at the mall chain, and the retailer is shuttering stores and laying people off across the country. Amazon will over take the department store chain as the biggest online apparel retailer in the country sometime in 2017. Pressure from the online behemoth is partly to blame for the store’s struggles, according to analysts, though some of the chain’s problems are of its own making. Other department stores, such as Kohl’s and Nordstrom, aren’t faring well either.
“The most exposed to e-commerce are the department stores: They’re carrying the same merchandise, and the in-store experience isn’t spectacular. So they’re losing foot traffic, and they’re discounting heavily,” Bridget Weishaar, an analyst at Morningstar Investment Service, told Bloomberg.
Are you ready to get office supplies or food from Amazon …