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Monday, March 27, 2017

Another retail merchant may be history


     Well it looks like another big traditional retailer might be biting the dust soon.  Sears, once the largest consumer goods retailer, has to face the possibility of bankruptcy.   The Sears Tower in Chicago was the tallest building West of New York.  I remember a time when Sears catalogs were the main source of many clothing and household purchases for people living far away from the larger department stores.  The Mid Western Montgomery Wards has disappeared and K Mart had to merge with Sears to survive. Even retail giant Wal Mart maybe facing difficult times ahead with the growth of e-commerce.  Just as Amazon killed much of the book store business it looks ahead to the next conquest in the grocery business.  While its online grocery business maybe growing slowly it has turned 180 degrees and is looking to open Amazon Go stores.  Just don't expect Amazon to create a traditional grocery store.
     Recently I had a personal experience with how much e-commerce has changed our shopping habits.  Looking to buy some new running shoes I went to the outlet store that I have used to buy shoes in the past.  They always have a buy one pair and get the second pair at 50% off.  The two pairs last me for the upcoming year.  This year the Reebok store to which I usually went was closed.  I went into the Nike store but could only find overpriced shoes.  I tried to look up prices online for the Reebok shoes I liked while in the Nike store.  Not surprisingly the store blocked the internet in their store.  Going outside to get a signal I searched again and found the Reebok shoes I liked for 50% off for each pair!  Guess who the online retailer was that had them at 50% off?!  Maybe a little late to save their retail stores but it maybe the only part of Sears remaining in the near future.

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