This was the cover of the INVESTORS BUSINESS DAILY (IBD) for April 10, 2017. The subhead read, “Most stores face day of reckoning as Amazon-led onliners seize sales; to survive, they must change – now.”
The in-depth article mentioned the facing crisis as retailers such as Sears, Kmart, Payless, Bebe Stores, and others face closing their doors and going completely online. We saw this with Coldwater Creek, a company which closed all brick and mortar, but continued to sell online and out of catalog. I do not think it necessarily means retail is going away, but I agree with those interviewed in the article that things must change.
While I do my own dent in the online sales world, I also love stores. I love the experience of going in…trying on clothing and shoes; learning and testing new beauty products; and discovering new gift ideas. I just believe some stores lost physical contact with the customer. They ceased excellent personal customer service, and allowed the shopping experience to become stressful and not fun.
I have observed one company which is opening, not closing, new stores throughout the country is SOFT SURROUNDINGS. They present a store which is beautifully decorated from displays to bathrooms to dressing rooms; the service is personal and not stressful; the stores hold clothing, accessories, and beauty products in again a beautiful beauty area where most will hire an expert. If they do not have the garment in your size, they get it ordered quickly and easily right there. All of the perks of shopping a high department store are on site at Soft Surroundings...comfortable chairs for the husband to sit in and cold water for refreshment in the dressing room…not to mention beautiful clothes at reasonable prices and good customer service. Obviously, this is working for now.
For those of you who are mostly shopping online now…what would it take for you to be loyal to a store front again? Do you believe all brick and mortars will go away? Who does it well; and who needs to change?
Let’s help them out with our opinions!