#online retail stores
Is Online Shopping Killing Brick-And-Mortar?
Shopping Online: Convenience, Bargains And A Few Scams .)
Like Chapters, Barnes Noble is trying to adapt to stiff online competition from Amazon.com and others. The company’s biggest move recently was to introduce NOOK, an Android-based e-bookstore, and it plans to invest heavily in online retail going forward. In the short-term, Barnes Noble’s brick-and-mortar operations will probably remain reasonably solid because of their broad book selections and high-quality amenities like Starbucks cafes, comfortable reading areas, and literary events. However, only time will tell if the company can survive mainly on book superstores in the long-term as online competition intensifies.
Once the undisputed king of the video rental industry, with more than 4,000 locations and about 60,000 employees, Blockbuster succumbed to competition from Netflix and other online DVD rental services. The company filed for bankruptcy nearly a year ago and was acquired in April by Dallas-based Dish Network. By then, nearly 1,000 Blockbuster stores had been closed. Blockbuster is now attempting to compete directly with Netflix through its Total Access service that enables subscribers to rent DVDs online.
The Bottom Line
These are just four examples of brick-and-mortal retail operations that have felt the effects of online shopping to various degrees, from having to change the way they do business to going flat broke. Not surprisingly, competition from e-commerce is only expected to increase. In the past decade, online retail sales have grown by more than 20% annually compared with only 2.9% for retail sales overall. Still, brick-and-mortar businesses are unlikely to disappear completely. Instead, many experts see retail evolving to a point where retailers more often have online and traditional outlets that complement each other. But in the meantime, there’ll probably be more casualties like Borders and Blockbuster. (For further reading, see What We Can Learn From 2011 Tech Leaders .)