How Some Retailers Are Thriving Despite The Supposed Death Of Their Industry

by MR Magazine Staff

Financial struggles, tech experiments and the rise of online shopping — those are the dominant narrative elements of today’s retail industry. But just because people are less likely to walk through the doors of certain stores nowadays does not mean they’re not interested in stores in general. The problem, many analysts argue, is that certain retailers are not interested enough in their customers. They’re interested in what their customers end up buying from them, sure. But they have a harder time determining what those customers want in the first place. “Big stores try to be something for everyone,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry retail analyst of the NPD Group, “and they end up being nothing for anyone.” The Limited, Wet Seal, Gander Mountain and Payless have all filed for bankruptcy. The head of Sears Holdings has admitted “substantial doubt” about the company’s ability to stay in business amid closing 150 stores. There are too many big-box stores in suburbs, and today the U.S. urban population is increasing faster than the national population overall. Meanwhile, Amazon is planning a three-day summit to try to lure consumer packaged goods brands away from their retail partners. Amid these shifts, smaller players can’t simply look the other way. They should be watching and learning from big retail’s shortcomings — and viewing this moment as one filled with opportunity. Read more at Entrepreneur.