Is Brick & Mortar Really Dying?

Is it brick and mortar that is dying or brain-dead, non-merchants who are finally being pushed out of business? Many of my clients are forced to deal with big box retail buyers who are so focused on rebates, shipping allowances, distribution center contributions, advertising allowances and lower prices that their companies no longer focus on being retail merchants.

I have written before how Lowes (one of those big box retailers I am talking about above), lost out on at least $10,000 in business from me because they couldn’t be bothered to sell it. That story link is about a dishwasher. On another trip they lost out on carpeting and flooring for an entire house as well as some other items for a similar reason.

I am reminded again about the dichotomy. Last week Amazon opened a brick and mortar book store in a shopping center/area in San Jose called Santana Row. They have opened about nine stores so far around the country. What is most funny to me about this one is that it is across the street in the center from where a Borders used to be located. Maybe Borders was just on the wrong side of the street … yeah right.

BTW, Amazon took over a vacated Brooks Brother’s location. Now there is a retailer that seems to have failed to keep up with the times. As Jeff Bezos said recently, “if your customers aren’t getting younger, you’re going out of business.” Something Cadillac almost didn’t learn in time.


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