Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Downfall of Retail (?)

In our area it seems that more and more retail outlets that have been around for decades are closing up shop.  Many were existing before I was even a twinkle in my daddies eye!
I keep hearing that this is happening all over the country.  I don't know if this phenomenon is happening in other countries or not.

Now when I am out and about, I do see new shopping centers going up - then I drive by others that are virtually empty of stores.  What is with that?  Do these people not realize that this is such waste of resources?  Why not renovate and re-use the existing building?  It  leaves such a glut of unslightly buildings.

Retail pricing keeps going up, quality keeps going down.  It is very apparent to me why shops are closing.  More and more people I know (I bet many of you as well), ONLY buy at sales or clearance, shop cheaper dollar stores, buy from thrift stores and yard sales, and perhaps buy in bulk (so product lasts for ages).
If the retail industry were going to depend on me to survive, they would have collapsed ages ago!  I go to the mall MAYBE once a year, at Christmas.  That is so I can use my coupon for a FREE item at Bed, Bath & Body Works.  I get it and leave.
I go to Kohl's  maybe 2 - 3X each fall when using the $10/$10 coupons I get (so FREE).
I manage to go to Sam's 1 - 2X a year - that is it.

I can't begin to tell you the last time I was in a Target, Wal-Mart (other than pharmacy), or major department store.  It just doesn't happen.  If I want to buy a gift item that isn't from thrift or yard sale - I almost always go to a small area a few miles away, that is strictly small businesses.  There is so much variety and I am helping someone support their family business.
I know there are employees working at those big stores (so we are helping their income) - but I just have a problem supporting big chain stores.
Yes, there are times that we HAVE to go to them.  But when I do, I spend as little as possible, watching the sales!


More and more people are gardening, canning, bartering, and foraging.  Crafting is COOL again.  I truly believe we have come so far forward - that we are having to finally go backward a little, just to feel at peace with our lives.  It is "IN" to learn the ways of our ancestors!


If you watch so many of the new TV shows - this is becoming the way to live again.  I am loving it!  I never stopped living this way - so it warms my heart when the young-ins in the family ask "how to".

This morning in our newspaper there was a headline "SURVIVING THE RETAIL APOCALYPSE".  The headline cracked me up - and I couldn't resist reading the story.  Basically the new retail stores that are coming into our city are cheaper stores - that offer more of a value!  They are replacing the many big department stores in prime retail locations.
Every week there is another story of an expensive, fancy restaurant that is closing it's doors.  Fast food spots still dot the landscape, but nicer restaurants  are gearing themselves to more affordable family style meals.

It is amazing that it seems to have taken so long for retailers to finally understand that we just aren't as eager to throw our precious dollars at them anymore.


Do you see these trends happening in your areas?
What are the ways you avoid big retail?
Are there any ways to curb the "retail dilemma" that I am not thinking of? 

If so, please let us know.  We all need ways to keep our dollars in our pockets!

18 comments:

  1. Actually, the demise of brick and mortar stores is directly linked to the increase in online shopping.

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    1. You are probably right about that - but I don't do that either!

      But it still doesn't explain the sudden closing of expensive restaurants (many, many of them here), and less expensive stores taking the place of majorly expensive ones.

      I do believe there are many reasons.

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  2. Our Kmart closed last year, and a Hobby Lobby is moving in to the building. I have never been to Hobby Lobby before. We are also getting a Lidl and an Aldi grocery store, so I am looking forward to shopping there. Applebees closed which surprised me as I thought they were family friendly.

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    1. Kathy we have lost Radio Shack, many of the K-Marts and Sears, GNC's and Pennies. Many restaurants including Applebees.
      It is amazing.

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  3. I think many more people are shopping online also. I am a fan of amazon prime with free shipping. Also the open box section. Where you buy things that are returned and marked down considerably. You are correct in that it is okay to be frugal and people are actually admiring people who are.

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    1. My husband does some shopping on-line as he can't get out and shop. I have yet to do any on-line shopping. Other than groceries I am just not a shopper.

      I agree FRUGAL is becoming a "new" thing! It is cool again.

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  4. I do buy online but not clothes. I can't imagine buying clothes without trying them on first. Not sure how people do that. I just think some stores need to keep up with the times and change the way they do business. I love brick and mortar stores when I have the money to spend.

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    1. Me too - if I have to shop - I want to handle what I buy. I am more into mom & pop stores than big box stores.
      I guess I am old fashioned!

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  5. I had to laugh. You said you only go to the mall once a year. I haven't been there in five years. From what I hear it's changed quite a bit - and not for the better. Sam's Club? Haven't been there in at least 15 years. I also could not in any way buy shoes or clothes online. I used to own a flea market for 14 yrs. and now I don't even like to shop in them. Walmart is a necessary EVIL on occasion. Maybe I'm becoming a hermit!

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    1. Kris - glad to see I am not in this boat alone! LOL You are doing BETTER than me!!
      I don't like crowds.
      I noticed that the closest mall to us (a very nice area), was being over run by groups of rude kids! Not shopper friendly at all.

      Being a hermit isn't so bad!

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  6. I'm an Amazon shopper. By the time I think of something I want, get around to leaving the house to buy it, I can order it and it'll be here before I ever make plans to go out to buy it. I love Amazon!

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    1. That work great for a lot of folks! I am of the mind, that by the time I get around leave the house, and go get it - I will probably have changed my mind! LOL This saves me a lot of money!

      Everyone has different ways to shop - none of them are bad. I love how each person does what works best for them.

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  7. We've seen the closure of big box stores here too. Both of our Kmarts here and in a bigger city close to us have closed. My daughter was in the mall the other day with her friend, who went with her to mall walk for exercise, says the mall had so many stores closed that she didn't know how they were still open. I have not been in the mall for over a year, but we are seeing it here as well. We shop yard sales and thrift stores and do our best to find it second hand whenever we can. We had been looking for fans and I priced them at Walmart. $25 for a small fan! No way! We found a nice one on a stand at a yard sale for $4, so that is the one we bought. In the end I helped my neighbor to have a little bit more spending money.

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    1. YAY, good for you and good for your neighbor!!!! It is amazing how the shopping malls stay open at all with all the empty stores. I just don't understand the building of new places, when we are glutted with so many empties.

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    2. Many of the older buildings need a large amount of renovation to bring them up to code.
      Or there are structural issues that make it more cost effective to build new.
      There was an old Kmart that was abandoned when they opened a new one basically next door,reason being the roof had leaked for years and there were structural problems and mold and asbestos issues.
      Dollar Generals are popping up like rabbits here in upstate NY and it's almost always new construction.

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  8. My husband and I were discussing Penney's and Sears stores this past week. We both agreed that their demise really began with the advent of losing their catalog departments.

    In my childhood, shopping was a BIG DEAL. You saved for it, you drove to the downtown section of the big city, shopped in the major department stores and bought quality items that you expected to last for years. And they did. I think cheap goods of poor quality have truly done away with the department store mentality of shopping.
    And there is a new mentality for many folks who are adhering more and more to that lifestyle that values quality over quantity, hence the capsule wardrobes (very 1940's-1950's by the way), the desire to minimize and simplify life overall.

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    1. Hello Terri. Ok, you gave me a memory of childhood that I cherished! There weren't any shopping malls so you had to go downtown to shop or shop the catalogues!
      Mom and I would get on a bus and go shopping downtown and look at all the lovely decorated stores.
      The Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogues, as well as one called Aldens's were surely WISH Books.

      Thank you so much for a journey down memory lane.

      I so agree with you, that everything has changed so much. I long for the old days!
      Thanks.

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  9. Our Macy's closed and several other retail shops that cater to the "teenaged and young adult crowd just closed here too including Vanity and Rue 21. I think I have shopped in those stores 4 times within the last 7 years or so and only bought on clearance. Heck, I even shop the clearance at Walmart if I am buying clothing that I can't find at the thrift store. ;) I can see why these stores are going out though. Yesterday I bought a shirt at Goodwill for $3.00 (because it was the half off that color tag) that I had seen in Macy's originally selling for $80! It's a very nice top and well made, but no way would I have paid $80 for it! Growing up in Hawaii we had very few shopping choices when it came to affordable clothing. If we wanted more variety, we had to fly from our island to Oahu and shop in Honolulu. We relied on the Sears catalog to buy most of our clothing if they were things that Mom did not sew them for us. She would spend all Summer sewing our wardrobes for the school year. This was great unless you hit a growth spurt and pants she made ended up being "high waters". There were times when even with the large hem she put it, letting it down a few inches still did not make it hit where it should. ;)

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