When Will People Stop Going to the Store?

Eddie Johnson  October 26  0 Comments 

https://rebelreach.blob.core.windows.net/3862/105025_img.pngNotice how this is a "when" question. It is because there is already not real reason to go to the store. Not to mention if you ask most people, they will most likely tell you they hate shopping. The truth is not many people actually like shopping in stores. Something about the crowds of people or never finding what you really wanted.

 

The question really is what is left to do in a store? If you are from New York, you might say you need your bagel and coffee from your normal spot. Others may actually say something more obvious like select your meats and produce. If you are in the latter bunch, I am going to ask you what may seem to be an obnoxious question. Do you actually know how to pick produce and meats? Be honest with yourself. Do you really?

 

More importantly, how often do you do those things. Even in the aggregate, will people continue to do that enough in the future for a store to sustain its existence? It is already hard for them to compete with online prices. When you factor in the convenience of being able to shop from wherever you are, the task of operating (let alone justifying) a brick and mortar store is even harder.

 

This doesn't mean retail is dead or even dying. It just means that brick and mortar is becoming almost irrelevant. I say almost because Amazon has already mastered the online game and, now, they are bringing that game back to physical locations. They have several versions of their own stores (books, groceries, etc.). Then they also have Whole Foods. They've recently even opened lower end versions of Whole Foods. In any event, each of these locations represents very valuable distribution points for Amazon that actually helps them to keep their costs down. Amazon doesn't just want to provide same day delivery. Amazon wants to master almost immediate delivery. We are talking as quick as 1-2 hours.

 

Even when you factor that in, why would people want to venture to the store. There isn't anything they can get at the store that you can't get delivered to your home and in far less time. That being said, there is one thing you might be able to get at the store that you can't get staying at home and it is called human interaction. That feeling of being known and appreciated when you walk in the door.

 

When I say appreciated I mean for more than just the money you may spend. I mean as a person. When I go to my local wine shop I get a warm hello. They know who I am. Over the years, they also know what I like and what I might be willing to try. What's great is the conversation about those things. When I go to other stores, I even appreciate the small talk. How about the impromptu meeting of new people. Bumping into old friends.

 

Indeed, the last great hurdle for brick and mortar is actually what most people dislike, but will most likely miss: other humans.