14 August 2012

collapse of big box/department stores: a view from the e-commerce sector

I found this interesting blog entry, while searching further on the topic of the collapse of big box/department stores:
“Apparel E-Commerce and Collapse of Big Box Stores”, Apparel Logistics Group:
This blog entry is from a commercial site of a company that provides third party logistics to apparel retailers including outsourcing services and is advocating using e-commerce to off-set the
decline of present retailing.  This blog entry specifically mentions the coming collapse of Big Box stores because they are offering good that do not have to be tested or tried on, such as CD’s, electronic equipment.  The blog author uses this as a pretext to discuss the advantage of e-commerce in apparel shopping. The caveat is the following statement in the blog entry:
Here at The Apparel Logistics Group, our third party logistics services can help your company slim down, gear up, and be ready to ride the leading edge of the e-commerce wave as it continues to develop.

While there are some legitimate claims and assumptions, about the coming retail decline among not only Big Box/department stores, this indicates that e-commerce companies are ‘riding the wave’ and facilitating the move away from traditional retailing. This particular company is facilitating downsizing, but terms it slimming down, a deceptively benign word for laying off employees.

This may be seen as a business opportunity by them and their potential clients, the downside is that people will be losing jobs in urban areas as many retailers switch more to Internet shopping.  It would be an accurate assumption that the downsizing of retailing is certain.  The consequences are not only Big Box stores vacating their facilities, but also some apparel retailers.  This will further decrease the employment base for a local economy.

To  many, it would appear that some of the  services and particularly the one mentioned in this blog entry could be seen as unpatriotic.  To others, it could be seen as a company making money on the present trends.  The ultimate outcome will be people will be losing jobs both ‘on the floor’ and in management.  These are structural changes that local governments must soon mitigate.

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