Marketing Glossary

Retail Apocalypse

What is the Retail apocalypse?

The term “retail apocalypse” is used to describe the decline of a standard brick and mortar retail in the USA that is, ironically, attributed in part to its meteoric rise. Some American department stores have been struggling for a few years now following the recession while others show mixed success.

It’s alarming that Amazon has surged past major department stores and retailers like Macy’s, Target and Sears. The stabilization of household names like Best Buy highlights the momentary stability of the economy.

This has a profound effect on malls across North America, but what does this mean for brick and mortar shopping?

A popular argument against the retail apocalypse is increasingly widespread job loss. Department stores have lost nearly 18x more jobs more than facilities like coal mines since 2001, but there is also rapid growth in other areas of the retail sector such as boutique stores and thriving discount outlets like TJ Maxx.

Yet, there is a strong argument against this, native brands are investing in physical storefronts. Many originally thought that brick-and-mortar stores were done for, but soon after it became clear that this was not really the case. Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion exemplifies this

Traditional retail brick and mortar stores aren’t dying, they are adapting to a new form.

Surviving the Apocalypse

There are many different ways to approach retail in today’s economy, but some commonalities remain consistent.

They have focused on delighting their customers by striving to create experiences instead of the typical one option packages. One key component in making Amazon the world’s most customer-centric company is achieving a level of customer service that ensures they retain and expand their pool of customers, challenging the status quo in doing so.

Amazon can deliver goods in less than an hour, and personalized marketing is the best way to build brand equity. According to McKinsey Report on Marketing 2020, personalized marketing helps business thrive both online and offline as it reduces acquisition costs, increases the efficiency of marketing spend by driving traffic to sites in addition to lifting revenue.

1818 is considered to be the founding year when Brooks Brothers was established 42 years after the United States of America. Consider that today they are one of the nation’s healthiest retailers, largely on the back of robust digital and mobile commerce. It can not be denied that their catalogue doesn’t have many things from this original era.

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