Remember the good ol’ days of meeting your friends at the mall to grab a smoothie and get asphyxiated by cologne at Hollister?
We sure do — it was a pivotal coming-of-age experience.
Sadly, today’s teens won’t undergo their formative life moments among Lush bath bombs, because “going shopping” is no more.
Per Vox, the nostalgic pastime has been damaged by a slew of factors:
- Extreme theft-prevention measures in stores mean many items are locked up, leaving customers waiting for assistance.
- Inventory issues, supply chain woes, and reduced foot traffic have led to sparser shelves.
- The retail industry, which can be physically and mentally taxing, is facing a labor shortage.
- Understaffing can lead to long lines and strained customer service.
All of these changes have left us with a shopping experience that’s downright subpar.
And now, the outlook for your favorite strip mall is grim: UBS estimates 40k-50k retail stores will close in the next five years.
Even before the pandemic…
… brick-and-mortar stores were closing. And covid only made consumers more reliant on online shopping.
The shift means less foot traffic in stores, but also decreased dwell time, a KPI that measures how long shoppers stay in a store; the longer they’re inside, the more they spend.
Shopping isn’t entirely extinct…
… It’s just different. Many consumers still prefer to shop in person (particularly for things like groceries).
But, when they do travel to a store, people want it to feel more like an outing and less like an errand.
So hold out hope for shopping, and hold on tightly to those Auntie Anne’s pretzel bites, lest they ever try to take them away.
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