The Ever Revolving World Of Retail - Some 2012 Thoughts On Trends

There is probably no industry which is studied more than the retail sector. Just when you think you know everything you can, a new trend emerges, an old fad died, and some analyst or expert warns you of a potential eventuality which will change the game forever. Perhaps you recall the chaos and controversy that came forth due to the dot-com roaring 90s, only to watch it implode in the year 2000. Still, it's now almost back on top as retailers fear the growth of Amazon, along with all the other smaller websites selling their goods and services online.

Many retailers have a dual approach, but for some that isn't working too well. Especially when their online businesses outperform their brick-and-mortar stores, and the shareholders ask why. They don't dare tear down the brick-and-mortar stores or their brand-name because then they are subjugated to the fickleness of search engine algorithms, which can make or break an online store overnight.

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal in the property report on August 1, 2012. This is a trend which is happening in Europe. The article was titled; "European Mall Giant Shrugs off the Crisis - Unibail-Rodamco Says Its Focus on Top-Quality Shopping Centers Attract Strong Tenants, Boost Market Share," by Anita Likus. The article noted that consumers are coming back to the mall as a place to enjoy, a destination location, while they do a little shopping. Meanwhile, the retailers, food courts, and restaurants are enjoying the return of the consumer.

Now then, does this mean that large retail malls are making a comeback in the United States? Well, one should look at the mall your own city, the mall in our city has been renovated with a brand-new food court, and it's looking pretty classy even if some of the anchor tenants seem to be dying on the vine, the shoppers are back, and they are buying, carrying around their bags of purchases, dressing up for the occasion and smiling as they waltz through the mall in the ambience of upbeat music.

Does this mean that the big box store concept is out? It doesn't seem to, the people are still shopping there but they are also comparing those ads to the prices online. Sometimes they go into the stores to look at the merchandise, and buy it online anyway as they can save money, sometimes on the sales tax, and sometimes 10 to 20% on the actual purchase of the item.

Meanwhile, there is a new thing going on with mobile technologies and GPS, reminding consumers as they are passing by their favorite store, or big data is using information about the individual to deliver the perfect ad almost second guessing their own minds. Interestingly enough, all of these trends are converging and it is making for a very interesting and highly evolved retail sector in 2012. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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