Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Death of the Brick and Mortar Store?

John B. Marine | 6/06/2017 07:04:00 PM | | |
Could brick and mortar stores become extinct? Online shopping is the way to go in recent times. This comes at the expense of brick and mortar stores along with even shopping malls and shopping centers. If this happens, brick and mortar stores could be easily phased out in favor of online shopping, thus meaning lots of job losses and a bunch of abandoned stores and parking lots. Part of the reasoning for not as many brick and mortar stores lasting mostly pertains to most people finding comfort and confidence in buying material online as opposed to going to basic brick and mortar stores. I often fear a lot of shopping centers will be mere ghost towns since not as many people will go to certain physical stores for things. On top of that, think about the small business owners who may be just hanging on trying to remain competitive in the business realm. There could realistically be a point where a lot of brick and mortar stores simply just will not thrive very long considering the success and appeal of online shopping. In addition, there are many different signs of culture change. Much like how people moved on from 8-tracks to cassettes and CDs, a lot of people are moving on from a lot of physical stores to online stores. Shopping centers, malls, and even places like grocery stores and department stores are even looking at options of online shopping. So there may be a chance that the brick and mortar store can either be not as productive or even be obsolete.

This is basically a collection of thoughts in regards to the dead (or dying) brick and mortar store. So please read on if this topic interests you.

Death of the Brick and Mortar Stores?

brick and mortar store death extinct obsolete
^ from: www.innovativeretailtechnologies.com - Could brick and mortar stores go the way of the dinosaur? Some think it is a matter of time before most brick and mortar shopping centers become dead or even obsolete considering the success of online shopping.

Can the brick and mortar store become obsolete? Here are a collection of thoughts of mine.

Dead/Dying Shopping Centers.

What possibly could abandoned stores and malls be like in the future? Here is one article showcasing what could become of certain stores and malls. By the way- I recommend you watch the video that comes with this link: Here's what could happen to America's hundreds of dead malls.

Here in the Houston/Galveston area, I have come across a number of once-thriving shopping centers. In my youth, my family would go to Almeda Mall in southeast Houston. It used to be that there were a lot of great stores to go to. I certainly enjoyed going to the arcade store there to play arcade games. There were also a book store (Waldenbooks), a toy store (Kay Bee Toys), a Radio Shack, and even a few restaurants I liked. There was also an area adjacent to the food court that usually is home to the merry-go-round or other fun events (such as the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus). The mall has a small library outside of the mall also that had some books I was looking for for a project I was working on. Keep in mind that this was back around the 1990s. Last year or so (or maybe this year), I revisited Almeda Mall. SO much has changed. Many of the past stores are dead and gone. The library at Almeda Mall is abandoned. One of the anchor stores, JCPenney, has long been a Burlington Coat Factory store. You almost can't tell it was a two-story JCPenney store. One of the bigger stores at the mall was an Old Navy store. I even remember in the past how that Old Navy used to be a bunch of stores, including a Woolworth. That big Old Navy there was abandoned for the longest. Rather than a lot of stores being within the mall building, some stores and businesses are situated outside of the mall. This is an example of a once-thriving mall increasingly becoming a potential dead shopping center.

Did that example prove my point? Well, I got more for you! These are some Houston/Galveston area locales to prove my point.

• There is Pasadena Town Square that I've been to before. This is Pasadena, Texas, mind you. Anyhow... I liked this place for stores like Electronics Boutique, the F.Y.E. music store, the fancy food court, and the arcade room there. Last time I visited... there was an arcade room that was under construction, the food court is almost literally dead, and what was the old arcade room has long been cut off. There are also not as many stores or interest inside the mall.

• San Jacinto Mall around Baytown also was kind of a thriving place. Most of the old stores have died out. One of the anchor stores is (on my last check) now some kind of college. There are still a cool movie theater and an arcade room there. However, there aren't too many more stores.

• Mall of the Mainland was a mall I visited maybe twice before. Both times, it just seemed like an indoor desert. I often joked about seeing tumbleweed in the mall and around the mall since it is so empty. Mall of the Mainland (or what used to be Mall of the Mainland) was a mall in Texas City, TX.

As you can tell by these brief bits I have mentioned, shopping centers and malls are businesses. When businesses fail, you end up with lost jobs and lots of abandoned space. You also end up with places where people can't really socialize and have fun at. So while I am looking at all of this on the standpoint of business, there is also a social aspect that takes a hit when such locales are gone.

Why Online Instead of Brick and Mortar?

For one thing, certain items simply just aren't available or sold to physical stores. For example, I had to buy a PC audio splitter cable for my gaming headset online after many stores don't sell such cables at physical stores. I bought a USB Bluetooth dongle online for the prospect of using Bluetooth to transfer material. Certain items simply are not sold at even small businesses. Not having to leave home to buy items can be a great reason why many prefer online shopping. Or at least, being able to shop on your mobile device as opposed to going to physical stores to buy things.

Often times, online shopping can lead to you getting things you didn't ask for. This is like when you order certain food at restaurants, and you end up getting something different than what you ordered. As if you get a fish sandwich when you ordered a cheeseburger. It is often better you have a brick and mortar store so you can actually see certain items you want to get in person. At least you can see and touch certain items you are interested in. You could read all you want about certain items available online. As we all know, people can manipulate and alter certain seemingly legit items and provide fakes or misinformation. Therefore, it is best to visit certain brick and mortar stores. I personally find brick and mortar stores to be better than having to shop online. I will mostly shop online if I feel I can't get something at any brick and mortar store (even secondhand items) that I could have a better chance of finding online.

I think thrift stores and consignment stores may likely be the best survivors should brick and mortar stores die out. I mostly am thinking of stuff like The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and stores like that. Even the fact these are used items and worn items still mean they can be enjoyed and have a good amount of purpose still in them. Usually, these are the kinds of items that still provide some sort of pulse among physical stores.

New Hope for Brick and Mortar Stores?

To avoid being completely phased out, and if you saw the link I posted before this section, you will know certain failed shopping centers are becoming re-imagined. So it may be possible brick and mortar stores may not completely go the way of the dinosaur. However, shopping centers are as much of businesses as almost any other business. Businesses succeed and fail. In the case of dying areas, certain former stores and former shopping centers could be converted into other businesses. It happens all the time most of the time. A shopping center you may remember could be a big church or maybe some kind of educational facility. Anything to keep business going and extend the life of certain properties will be taken full advantage of to make the most of any newer opportunities.

Final Thoughts.

The reason I get depressed about decaying and dying shopping centers is that I find shopping centers as both thriving businesses as well as social hangouts. By going with mostly online shopping, you don't get to enjoy brick and mortar stores as much as you can. At least you can be able to get certain items from physical stores rather than exclusively have to get content from an online store. While I haven't fully concentrated on the social aspect of brick and mortar stores, the impact of not as much social attention to such shopping centers also takes a hit as such locales die out or fail to thrive. With all of this said, the dying brick and mortar store can lead to losses both in business and social fields.

That's all for this post, but what do you think about this topic?

Do you think the brick and mortar store may die out?

Feel free to offer your thoughts while also sharing my material. Subscribe and Follow if you enjoy my blogging work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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