It is no secret that online shopping is an incredibly popular and efficient way to shop. Instead of driving out to a mall with no guarantee of finding something worth purchasing, people can do all of their shopping in the comfort of their own home and simply wait for their orders to be delivered to their doorstep. Online shopping has made such an impression that even the nation’s most popular shopping day, Black Friday, has partially been replaced by Cyber Monday. Brick and mortar stores are feeling the backlash. According to Forbes, of the 1,200 malls in the country, 15% are up to 50% vacancy.
Just last week, JCPenney announced that 138 of their stores will be closing in June, resulting in the loss of 5,000 jobs.
Even high-end stores, such as Neiman Marcus, are having issues keeping up sales and competing with the convenience of online shopping. According to the New York Times, Neiman Marcus is considering a merger with Hudson’s Bay Company to offset nearly 5 billion dollars in debt. Mark Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia Business School, commented on the potential merger.
“I look at this just as moving the deck chairs around on the proverbial Titanic,” Cohen said. Essentially, these buyouts and closings of retail stores are quick fixes for the colossal problem they are faced with.
Despite its rocky national sales status at the moment, Neiman Marcus has recently opened a new store in the Fort Worth area. Equipped with new features such as the NM Cafe, a virtual jukebox, and “memory mirrors,” which allow customers to take 360-degree pictures and video of outfits tried on to see outfits side by side, this new location is already very popular in Fort Worth. Only time will tell if this new location will also fall victim to the era of online shopping.