The bankruptcy of Sears, following the collapse of Toys ‘R’ Us and Brookstone, is a reminder retail is in only the early stages of a major disruption. Many thousands of storefronts will close, and more iconic names will end up in bankruptcy. To survive in today’s cutthroat environment, brick-and-mortar retailers must evolve constantly and many will need to radically change. More than the “Amazon effect” is at work. Yes, retailers are facing competition from shopping websites. But, increasingly, they are going head to head with their own suppliers who, for decades, had relied upon stores as their primary sales channels. Not anymore. The vast majority of consumer goods companies around the globe — 88%, according to a new PA Consulting survey of the top 150 firms — expect their direct sales to consumers to increase over the next two years. Every one of these companies reported that it is in the process of either strengthening or developing its direct-to-consumer offerings in order to build tighter relationships with shoppers and have more control of how their brands are presented. To achieve this, many are now adding an online shopping capability as well as putting more emphasis on the brick-and-mortar storefronts that they already operate. Read more at CNN Business.