Is online shopping killing retail?
Is online shopping killing retail? Pexels

'Dead malls': Retail future grim as online shopping booms

Comment

THE news of the collapse of Jeanswest yesterday would have come as no surprise to many people.

It's the latest in a string of bad news from the retail world, hot on the heels of the collapse of department store Harris Scarfe.

Other retailers have also faced recent upheaval or demise: Curious Planet, Bardot, Roger David, Napoleon Perdis, EB Games, Shoes of Prey - the list goes on and on.

Of course, the catastrophic bushfires we are experiencing will have an impact, as flagged by the company that owns Katies and Noni B.

How do you do most of your non-perishable shopping?

This poll ended on 18 January 2020.

Current Results

Online

14%

In-store

45%

A mix of online and in-store

40%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

But decline in the retail industry is part of a larger trend away from traditional shopping.

It's often said Australia is 10 years behind America so it's worth having a look at what has happened there.
Sure, big box retailers like Walmart are doing a tidy business.

But the country is also littered with what are called "dead malls", once-bustling shopping centres that are now virtual ghost towns or even closed completely.

Watching videos of dead malls on YouTube is simultaneously fascinating and heartbreaking.

I expect similar things to happen here eventually.

As more and more of us turn away from traditional shopping to primarily buying things online, we are staring down the barrel of having vast retail spaces becoming decaying legacies of what was once an unassailable industry.

Retailers need to be ahead of the curve and adapt to the new order well before then if they are to survive.


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