Going shopping is losing its luster

Retail therapy becomes a retail nightmare

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The Future. Gone are the days of shopping being an American pastime — customers are reporting the experience has become a drag, with companies slow-rolling updates of their stores and workers feeling neglected. The consequence has been declining sales all around. But streetwear flagships and luxury outposts have demonstrated people want the experience of shopping… so brands that can reboot the in-store experience may be met with a wave of thankful customers ready to roam the shelves.

Retail anxiety
Retail therapy has become a retail nightmare, according to Vox.

  • Customers complain about empty shelves, locked-up items, and understaffing leading few people to man registers (pandemic changes that have solidified).
  • This has led to customers wanting to spend less time in store — a concept called “dwell time, ” which, when high, routinely leads to higher sales.
  • The recent downturn has led retailers to have less product in stock and fewer employees on the floor.
  • That creates more headaches for people who come in to shop, catalyzing a habit of “get in, get out” as fast as possible and kneecapping overall foot traffic.
  • Those forces have been terrible for retail employees, who are now dealing with cut hours, understaffing, rude customers, and automation… leading many to get out of retail.

This vicious cycle is a downward spiral for both retailers and customers, with investment bank UBS estimating 50,000 stores will close in the next five years. That means failing businesses, fewer options for customers, and fewer positions for workers. And strangely enough, e-commerce sales aren’t picking up the slack.

The takeaway? People want to shop, but they want a good experience. If you fix it, they will come.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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