Crystal ball, anybody?

It’s fun to peer into the future of retail, as in today’s RetailWire discussion about the look of the industry in 2020. I focus on the trend away from big box stores that seems to be the topic of the moment:

I don’t agree with the premise that combination food/discount stores are doomed (both Target and Walmart are both committed to the food and consumables businesses), but the giant footprint under one roof may be another story. On the other hand, the “category killer” big box store (toys, electronics, office equipment) is definitely struggling with the effects of technology on its business.

Think about Best Buy, Staples and Toys R’ Us as examples: Both Amazon and the discounters provide plenty of price and assortment competition. More importantly, many of these stores are still devoting space to products (CD’s, DVD’s, printers and paper) that are quickly losing steam with consumers. It pays for stores like Best Buy to keep rolling out small-footprint stores focused on a single category like mobile.


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