Since the mid-2000s, the retail apocalypse has resulted in the closing of many North American department stores. For example, in 2006, Sears had over 3,500 stores and 355,000 employees nationwide. But by the end of 2016, the numbers dropped to only 1,430 stores still in operation. Leading to the company filing for bankruptcy in October of 2018 as they announced they were going to close an additional 142 stores out of the 687 they had left. Which at the time of filing bankruptcy, Sears had only 68,000 employees left.
As well as affecting department stores, the retail apocalypse has greatly affected suppliers. For example, Hasbro cited that the loss of their chain Toys “R” US was from a result of lost revenue and layoffs the company imposed in October of 2018. And as of recently, Macy’s has become the next store on the list to close its doors.
Announcing that in early 2020, they will be closing between 15 to 30 stores nationwide, resulting in more people getting laid off. As the unemployment rate continues to rise, more and more businesses face the harsh reality that the internet is taking away their consumers.
As cited, one of the main factors in the closing of a major retail and department stores is the lack of in-store traffic.
With the click of a mouse and keypad, you can easily find whatever you want online. Making it a lot easier for consumers to shop from the convenience of their own home as more stores and businesses are starting to cater to online shoppers.
In hindsight, the evolution of the internet has its pros and cons. On the one hand, it makes things more accessible. But on the downside, many department stores and suppliers are suffering because people are not coming into stores as they use to about 20 and 40 years ago. Leaving to wonder, are there going to be any department stores left in the next decade?. Check out more lifestyle posts!