How an Exodus from cities will reshape retail


The work-from-anywhere revolution will accelerate the coming of a post-digital age for shopping, argues Doug Stephens of Retail Prophet.

Throughout history, cities have played a central role in the evolution of retail. From the grand bazaars of ancient times to the opulent department stores of the 1800s to the venture-backed start-ups of the 2000s, cities have offered the stage, the audience, and ultimately, the financial prosperity to power retail through the ages.

But in major developed economies like the United States, we are set to see an outbound migration from cities the likes of which we have not experienced since the 1950s. Just as the IBMs and Microsofts of the world did 40 years ago, migrating to the boundlessness of the suburbs, today’s corporate giants are rethinking location once again, except this time encouraging their employees to live and work wherever they like.

On May 21st, Facebook announced that it would give its employees not only the freedom to work from home permanently, but also to spin a globe and point to wherever they’d like “home” to be. Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge, “We’re going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale… I think we could get to about half of the company working remotely permanently.” That same day, Shopify and Twitter both made similar announcements. Shopify founder and CEO Tobias Lütke said he expects most of the company’s employees to choose the work from home option, adding: “The choice is really, are we passengers on this tidal wave of change? Or do we jump in the driver’s seat and try to figure out how to build a global world-class company by not getting together that often?”

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Future of retail – what happens to the empty stores?

future retail 2

Iconic mall-based department chains, like Sears and JC Penney, are announcing hundreds of store closures in 2017. More chains are expected to announce shutdowns over the next decade. Experts say the shuttered locations could turn into other businesses that benefit from the large square footage, like fitness centers, churches, offices, public libraries, movie theaters, and medical clinics.

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Amazon hunting for 1,300 European warehouses as battle for fast delivery hots up

Amazon ​is looking for a staggering 1,300 warehouse units across Europe to fulfil its commitments for its one-hour Prime Now delivery service.

The online retailer is understood to be seeking small warehouse units in urban locations near major cities, as consumers increasingly demand shorter delivery times for goods from laptops to lawnmowers.

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What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?

From rural strip-malls to Manhattan’s avenues, it has been a disastrous two years for retail.

There have been nine retail bankruptcies in 2017—as many as all of 2016. J.C. Penney, RadioShack, Macy’s, and Sears have each announced more than 100 store closures. Sports Authority has liquidated, and Payless has filed for bankruptcy. Last week, several apparel companies’ stocks hit new multi-year lows, including Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, and American Eagle, and Ralph Lauren announced that it is closing its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue, one of several brands to abandon that iconic thoroughfare.

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The retail apocalypse has officially descended on America

shopping mall

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Thousands of mall-based stores are shutting down in what’s fast becoming one of the biggest waves of retail closures in decades.

More than 3,500 stores are expected to close in the next couple of months.

Department stores like JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, and Kmart are among the companies shutting down stores, along with middle-of-the-mall chains like Crocs, BCBG, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Guess.

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The Holoroom – Lowe’s launches holographic virtual reality showroom


The Holoroom

Brick-and-mortar retail has changed little since the Internet exploded into our lives in the mid-1990’s. We now go into a store to figure out what we want to buy only to go home and buy it online from whoever offered the lowest price and free returns. But a number of retailers are looking for ways to leverage technology to get shoppers excited about buying in-store again. (Photos and video)



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