comment 0

Where do you shop?

Matthew Townsend of Bloomberg recently published an interesting article talking about the dominance of (and online shopping in general); the shift towards experiences over stuff; and the languishing brick-and-mortar brands that keep saying it’s the macroeconomy, rather their product/approach, which is causing sales to slump.

Here are a 3 excerpts that stood out for me:

Lurking behind the cliché is a hard truth these executives are eager to avoid. “All this pleading that the consumer isn’t spending is an excuse, largely from management teams whose product is less relevant,” Kernan said. “The consumer is actually driving the U.S. economy, so it’s a little ridiculous when we hear the excuse of the macro environment is not good.”

Another hurdle that isn’t going away is the shift to increased spending on experiences such as travel and classes, which make for much better posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. “Social media has really fostered a have-done environment, which is not what retailers sell,” Perkins said.

One characteristic of these struggling brick-and-mortar chains has been direct competition with Amazon. If they don’t go head-to-head with the online giant, they rely heavily on people visiting shopping centers anchored by retailers that do, such as ailing department-store chains Macy’s and Sears. One measure of store visits in the U.S. paints a dire picture, with only a dozen positive weeks over the past two years.

According to Bloomberg, 55% of online product searches start at And while online sales in 2016 have only accounted for 11% of all (U.S.) retail revenue, it has represented 54% of all growth! That’s a big number, especially when you think about what that will mean over time.

Talking about the growth and threat of online shopping has become a boring truism. I know that. But are retail executives taking it seriously? The Bloomberg article gives you the sense that many are not – or at least they’re not publicly acknowledging it.

When I look around my place right now and think about where I bought each item – everything from the shoes at my door to the protein powder in my cupboard – it’s pretty amazing to think about how much I now buy online. And I’m sure that many of you are the same.

Groceries aside, I’m probably 85-90% online. What about you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s