This year our prediction for the retail world will be short and sweet. In short, we expect to see the same trends that have been affecting retail businesses over the past few years continue to accelerate. As always, retail moves fast and 2019 will be no exception.
Big Box Bankruptcies
Larger stores will continue to have problems. Last year we saw Sears and Toys R Us declare bankruptcy, and already this year Payless Shoes, Shopko and Gymboree have filed Chapter 11. Online shopping, not just Amazon, is taking its toll on larger brick and mortar retailers who aren't able to differentiate themselves.
Clicks to Bricks and Vice Versa
Companies with an online presence will continue to seek opportunities to participate in old-fashioned brick and mortar retail. Amazon is a prime example, as it has already rolled out several bookstores, as well as its well-publicized Amazon Go! cashier-less outlets. For other online retailers, pop-up stores will continue to be part of their strategy to increase brand awareness.
On the bricks to clicks side, with very few exceptions retail businesses of all sizes will need to have an Internet strategy. It may involve selling products or taking orders online, or may be about marketing and visibility, but the days of existing without being online are over.
You can buy nearly everything online. We all know that now. So there is opportunity for companies that specialize and do one thing very well, rather than trying to be the seller of everything, like Amazon.
One example of this is cookie delivery. Two companies, Insomnia Cookies and Tiff's Treats, basically bake and deliver cookies. And that's it. And they're growing fast. They're using the Internet to provide instant sugary gratification to late night cravers, and have carved out a nice niche.
One of F.C. Dadson's clients, Cousins' Maine Lobster, is growing rapidly by focusing on a niche product (lobster rolls), and keeping their menu and restaurants simple.
Services reign Supreme
Like it says above, you can buy nearly every THING online. However, services need to be provided in person, and therefore will continue to require a presence in the physical world. This is why most of the fastest-growing retail concepts at the moment are service, rather than product, oriented.
One example is the booming industry of barbershops for men. Diesel Barbershop is growing rapidly, offering video games and adult beverages along with haircuts. In a totally different industry, Code Ninjas is building a successful business training kids how to do computer programming. Both of these F.C. Dadson customers are building bricks and mortar retail outlets by focusing on services that can't be easily provide online.
2019 promises to be an exciting year. If you're looking to expand your product, service, or restaurant retail outlets and need help with design, fixture manufacturing, or construction management, please contact us and let's see what we can do together!