Doomsday for the Department Store!

It feels like just yesterday that my mother packed us all into our bright red RoadRunner on an early Saturday morning to shop for the family. Back then, trips to the mall were not an option. Online shopping was not heard of. And yes, you were trying on every piece of clothing before she even THOUGHT about buying it. One stop, one department store, one transaction and we walked out with clothes, appliances, electronics, bedding and shoes. It's sad to say, those Department Store shopping days are long gone.

In the recent years of my retail career, it's become evident that more and more mall and free standing locations are closing up shop. I'm talking about companies that have been in the industry for years! Departments stores like Macy's and JC Penny's who's built success by way of promotional mailings and coupons. Junior retailers like Wet Seal and BCBG that maintained real estate in every mall or shopping center has now become desolate and non-existent. With a focus now on e-commerce I can't help but wonder...will brick and mortar remain for much longer?

Needless to say, we're in a day and age of convenience. From the comfort of my bed, I can pay bills, order and have food delivered, take a college course, learn to change a car tire and apply make-up before 10 am! With the help of social media, online boutiques have made innovative strides and exceptional business execution in a world of rapid and ever-changing trends. Free shipping, weekly promotions and captivating price points, I too have surrendered to more online boutique shopping over the bustling of mall parking, line waiting and stale options. Yes, retail has changed and I'll say, before long every mall standing will suffer if it doesn't start changing with it.

Tawana Horne