You don’t have to look much further than your local mall to see signs of what the Atlantic called “The Great Retail Apocalypse of 2017.” In light of growing market control from ecommerce websites, consumers have fewer reasons to leave their homes than ever.
Grim as the state of retail might seem — hot off the heels of nine major bankruptcies in 2017 including JCPenney and Macy's — many experts believe 2018 could still be the first chapter of the retail store comeback story. After all, it’s always darkest before the dawn, and shifting consumer trends offer a glimmer of hope in 2018 for retailers willing to think outside the box.
Coming off a record economic year — which showed signs of renewed consumer confidence — running a successful retail store is a viable prospect for 2018. Entrepreneurs that embrace the changing industry rather than run from it are sure to rise above the competition.
Adapt or atrophy
Let’s face the facts: ecommerce has become a part of American’s daily consumer habits. There is an online service for nearly every day-to-day need or product, so it is becoming harder than ever to tear consumers away from their computers. For this reason, retailers must adapt to digital trends — if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Retailers’ success in 2018 will depend on their ability to accomodate to the changing industry landscape. Companies like Target and Kohl’s are already seeing ROI after retrofitting stores with ecommerce kiosks. Improved online presence has breathed life into many legacy brands.
Going beyond the website
The most successful retailers of the past couple years are taking chances on new technologies. Early adopters of AI, mobile apps and omnichannel trade are already ahead of the trends that will rule 2018.
Today, the conversation of brick-and-mortar vs online has run its course — successful retailers in the digital age must be fluid and offer ultimate consumer agency. Now more than ever, consumers are looking for variety in purchasing channels, and the ability to choose for themselves.
Experiences over products
It’s no secret that Amazon and other online giants have hurt the success of retail stores, but physical locations offer an invaluable asset that a website cannot: real-life experiences. Studies show that nearly 75 percent of millenials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than things, so this offers a unique upper-hand to brick-and-mortar stores.
With millenials quickly overtaking as the primary consumer demographic, retailers are pivoting to provide experiences in conjunction with their products. Give shoppers a reason to leave the house — something worthy of a coveted Twitter post or Instagram upload.
How to buy a retail store
No one’s path to business ownership is the same. There are countless ways to break into the retail industry, and whether you’re starting from scratch or buying a business the path to entrepreneurship is uncertain but exciting.
Buying an established, proven retail store is a popular way to jumpstart ownership because you inherit invaluable resources such as:
Purchasing a retail store can be a rewarding and profitable business venture, but it can be intimidating for the uninitiated. Don’t worry — that’s where an online business broker comes in. If you’d like more information and tips on how to buy, sell or operate a successful retail store, check out all of our helpful resources on buying a retail shop.