Retail Woes: Stores are Closing at Recession Era Levels

Ready for a surprise? Brick and mortar retailers are shutting their doors at the quickest pace since the recession.

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A new report from CNBC outlines the extreme rate that big companies are shutting their doors, or at very least downsizing. But if our economy truly is on it’s way back to be healthy and successful, why is this happening? Obviously the easy answer is online shopping, which makes life more convenient for many people. But many companies are also facing a post recession reality; they got too big or bought out too many of their competitors.

Stores like RadioShack, that restructured their business plan and tried to continue on are now more than ever see the negative impact the recession had on them years later. Stores like Macy’s and JCPenny are also shutting down over 400 of their locations. And unfortunately for the retailers around them shoppers don’t like shopping at a mall that has empty space. This leads to other businesses suffering by the failures of their larger counterparts.

Big box stores used to only have to compete with each other. Now they are facing the world of online shopping, being too big, and looking at less crowded retail areas as struggles to their own growth as companies.

So what’s the answer? It’s a fair guess that the answer won’t be found in brick and mortar stores. Many experts and economists believe that the world has already eclipsed the need for malls and similar stores. Customers prefer convenience, and if a good shopping experience isn’t part of their life they’re likely to look elsewhere. Closing stores, while more economically feasible, shows that many retailers are finding themselves defeated in a new era of shoppers. The answers lie in their ability to compete online, or find a new way to coax consumers back into their stores.

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