by Gary Excelby, The Paragould Daily, March 4, 2018
“We’re here to debunk the ‘retail apocalypse,’” said Craft, a portfolio director for Retail Strategies, to a general membership meeting of the Paragould Chamber of Commerce Thursday at the Paragould Community Center. He noted the widespread coverage of various store closings was due to the fact that “bad news sells.”
“We know that retailers are closing stores, but the alternative to closing stores is going out of business altogether.” Along those lines, Craft dispelled several of the component myths of the “retail apocalypse.” “We keep hearing how Amazon.com is putting brick-and-mortar retailers out of business” Craft said. However, he said, the total percentage of sales made online for all outlets comes to 8.5 percent.
“Amazon became the villain,” he said, “but it wasn’t the cause. The fact is that retailers expanded beyond their ability to serve.”
Thus the store closings. Nevertheless, Craft said, according to research done by Retail Strategies, 78 percent of consumers want to do their shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, data Craft presented showed great growth in brick-and-mortar stores over the last 14 months, with discount stores leading the way.