For those who want to so eagerly relive the 80s and 90s, I have bad news! The cornerstone of any 80s teen or 90s teen's life— the mall— is going away. I'm surprised we never had a dedicated thread for this. It's a major news story, and I feel we should be discussing it and analyzing it in detail.
From Sears to Toys R Us, the so-called retail "apocalypse" has claimed some of the holiday season's biggest brands. But the slaughter doesn't end when the ball drops, retail analysts say.
Shopping is changing. While many retailers bank on Christmas sales to boost their yearly revenues, brick-and-mortar shops are finding it harder and harder to keep up with online giants like Amazon.
Toys R Us, which filed for bankruptcy protection in the US in September, nearly collapsed in the UK in December.
It brokered a deal in the 11th hour with its creditors, but must still close 26 of its 105 stores in the UK.
Meanwhile in North America, traditional department stores are facing an uphill battle. Stocks in JCPenney have fallen from above $9 (C$11; £7) last December to just above $3.
For those out of the loop...
The retail apocalypse refers to the closing of a large number of American retail stores beginning in 2016. Over 4,000 physical stores are affected as American consumers shift their purchasing habits due to various factors, including the rise of e-commerce. Major department stores such as J.C. Penney and Macy’s have announced hundreds of store closures, and well-known apparel brands such as J. Crew and Ralph Lauren are unprofitable. Of the 1,200 shopping malls across the US, 50% are expected to close by 2023. The retail apocalypse phenomenon is related to the middle-class squeeze, in which consumers experience a decrease in income while costs increase for education, healthcare, and housing. Bloomberg stated that the cause of the retail apocalypse “isn’t as simple as Amazon.com Inc. taking market share or twenty-somethings spending more on experiences than things. The root cause is that many of these long-standing chains are overloaded with debt—often from leveraged buyouts led by private equity firms.” Forbes has said the media coverage is exaggerated, and the sector is simply evolving.The most productive retailers in the US during the retail apocalypse are the low-cost, “fast-fashion” brands (e.g. Zara and H&M) and dollar stores (e.g. Dollar General and Family Dollar).
One could argue that the roots of the retail apocalypse date back to when megachains like Walmart and JC Penny drove main street mom & pop shops out of business, but that may be beside the point now that even these megachains are closing shop.