Retail Chains Are Floundering And It’s Not Because Of Amazon

by MR Magazine Staff

More retailers are on the brink of death than any time since the Great Recession, according to ratings firm Moody’s. Hundreds of department stores are closing, and once-chic clothing brands are barely treading water — or, in the case of American Apparel and The Limited, recently departed. In that kind of atmosphere, it’s easy to point a finger at the 800-pound gorilla — the one with a history of eating bookstores for breakfast (and now, ironically, building its own). Amazon has a stranglehold on the e-commerce market, and there’s no doubt it’s draining a growing portion of real-world sales as consumers take their shopping online. But many experts argue that the go-to narrative of tech disruption alone doesn’t always tell the whole story. One is Brendan Witcher, a retail and e-commerce analyst at research firm Forrester. He categorically denies the notion that Amazon can meaningfully explain the flux in the retail space. “It’s simply not true,” Witcher said. “It doesn’t make sense when you look at the numbers.” Witcher is referring to the fact that online shopping still makes up less than a tenth of the country’s total retail sales, despite doubling in the past five years, an oft-cited stat from the U.S. Census Bureau. Read more at AOL.