Are physical stores disappearing?

disappearing physicla store-visual

13 May 2020

 Are physical stores actually disappearing? The last years, customers are increasingly buying more online. The Office for National Statistics has shown an increase of internet sales as a part of total total retail sales. The rise of the online shops is imminent. Combined with the messages of physical stores going bankrupt and are on the edge of bankruptcy, it seems like the physical store is disappearing.

Are physical stores disappearing because of online shops?

in 2007, the physical stores started to perform less well. The period of 2008 till 2014 showed an immense decrease of physical stores. 1 in every 5 shops closed in that time. During this time, the amount of web shops has only increased and continues to increase. With the increase in online shops also comes a big increase of online sales. Are the physical stores disappearing because of the internet? Not everybody believes in this.

People want experience

 2015 showed the first signs of the physical store making a comeback. The high number of physical stores that went under during the crisis has not meant the end of the physical store. It is expected that more shops will close, which will be followed by a period of growth.

The returns of a multichannel approach is becoming more evident. The online sales of multi-channelers (stores that have both a physical as an online presence) are growing more strongly than the sales of purely online shops. The chances of multichannel are clear and this gives the physical stores better chances to perform well, as long as they can play into the changes in the market.

Online is neccesary, but physical stores will stay

The combination of offline and online is working extremely well. The function of a store is changing. Consumers want to have the shopping experience, personal service and advice, but they also want to be able to orient and buy online. For the consumer, the online and offline space are not divided and their orientation journey, choice and purchase is through both channels. A multichannel is not the only thing a retailer needs for success. An omnichannel approach is necessary to reach the consumer via all channels and give them the experience they are searching for.

The purely physical store might completely disappear. In its place, there will be a new kind of physical store, the omnichannel store. The store in which consumers can see products and can get advice. A store in which they can see, orient and order whenever they want, online.

Need help with online strategy?

Is the physical store disappearing? It is clear it is not. A strategy change is necessary to keep your head above the water. However, many retailers are struggling with this strategy change. Professional advice can be the solution for your business. RTM Business is a team of specialists who would love to think with you about the perfect strategy. Do not hesitate to contact us.