Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Old-line brick and mortar stores are reeling as they lose sales to online retailers. What will this mean for these venerable stores? For malls? For you?
The retail sector is sending out S.O.S. signals – Save Our Stores. But for some it seems the lifeboat has already cast off.
Retailers, particularly mall-based, brick-and-mortar operations, are sagging under debt, dwindling foot traffic and the shift to online buying. The number of retailers with “distressed” credit ratings is now the most since the Great Recession.
Industry watchers expect bankruptcies, closings and other restructurings this year. That’s already playing out in the Charlotte area. J.C. Penney is closing two stores in the region, while Macy’s has shuttered its anchor post at Carolina Place Mall.
Meanwhile, Amazon, which many consider the biggest threat to these retailers, is becoming more of a formidable foe, worth more than the top eight traditional retailers – combined.
Mike Collins goes shopping for answers on what's turning the retail sector on its head.
Katie Peralta, retail and business reporter, The Charlotte Observer (@katieperalta)
Dr. Steven Cox, marketing professor, Queens University of Charlotte
Tiffany Hogan, senior analyst, Kantar Retail