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Matthew Mason: Brick & Mortar Retailers – Who’s Afraid of the World Wide Web? – DBusiness

Matthew Mason wrote an article for DBusiness titled “Brick & Mortar Retailers – Who’s Afraid of the World Wide Web?”

In recent months, much has been written and discussed regarding the future of retail — in particular, the “Amazon Effect” — with more consumers opting for online shopping over bricks and mortar locations than ever before. While there is no denying that traditional retail outlets have been falling by the wayside in record numbers, I would argue that the Amazon Effect is overblown; an overreaction in comparison to what is actually occurring in the marketplace. Counterintuitive? Absolutely. Off base? Founded on what we are seeing and working on across the country, absolutely not.

Many retailers, in fact, are thriving and growing by identifying a niche and subscribing to a business and customer model that renders them, in essence, “internet proof.” Such retailers are providing products, services and overall experiences that differ from those that can be obtained online. Case in point: Discounters. Dollar General, for example, is planning to open 900 new stores this year (for the second consecutive year) located largely in rural areas. The retail strategy is clear — provide low-cost offerings to moderate- to lower-income individuals not willing to pay a $99 annual Amazon Prime membership fee and who do their shopping on or immediately after payday. Equally important, the inventory of such discount retailers is ever changing; shoppers repeatedly visit the store in order to see what new offerings are available at any given time. Five Below, ALDI, and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet are also expanding for much the same reason.

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