This holiday season so far has seen record-breaking purchases, but a wave of store closures is still underway as digital claims more terrain in shopping. With stores like Payless shuttering 2,300 locations just last year—and Walgreens, H&M, and Charlotte Russe among those closing hundreds of stores—investment bank B. Riley FBR recently predicted that the current “retail apocalypse” is likely to continue for another 18 to 24 months.
The current state of retail can be attributed to many factors, one of which is online shopping. Additionally, e-commerce has made online shopping so convenient that brick-and-mortar is struggling to compete with brands like Amazon and eBay. Even the online versions of some of consumers’ longtime favorite brands are outpacing their physical locations. Gone are the days in which consumers had to put shoes on to buy anything. Today, everything we want can be ordered from our phones as we binge watch a series from our couch.
To help mitigate the financial loss associated with store closures, retailers can create well-developed e-commerce experiences, but that’s not enough. Looking for three wishes? No need. Here are three ways retailers can help navigate—and stay afloat during—this retail apocalypse.
Creating a quick and stress-free shopping experience for your customers will give you an advantage in the competitive retail landscape. Offering incentives like free shipping, free returns, curbside pickup and coupons is a great place to start. Also, providing a smooth in-store and online customer experience is crucial to strengthening customer loyalty. Find new ways to repurpose your physical store and create a space where customers would like to hang out and explore your products.
Yes, Rethink Your Size
As this current period of consolidation is showing us, more stores don’t necessarily equal more capital. Downsizing the number of your stores and their sizes can reduce operating and supply chain expenses, all while providing better customer service. The key here is quality over quantity.
Think Strategically About Returns + Overstock
While many retailers are struggling to put out the financial fire, retail is far from dead. The best thing you can do is learn to navigate the new consumer trends and continue to find different ways to appeal to this modern age of tech-savvy shoppers. The retail landscape may be rocky, but thinking about every aspect of your business can help create a fresh path to revenue. One such path is establishing a healthy secondary market sales channel for returned, excess or liquidation inventory.
A B2B marketplace solution like the one B-Stock offers can offset more loss than traditional channels. By selling to a large network of business buyers retailers can boost pricing as well as the velocity in which the merchandise is sold.
For a look at how we helped a leading retailer 1) consolidate three returns warehouses to one 2) reduce inventory cycle from 40 days to 17 and 3) bring on 8,000+ new liquidation buyers, please download our case study: Reduce Inventory & Support Warehouse Consolidation Goals.Download Case Study