The Dinosaur in the Room: Brick & Mortar Retail

I’m absolutely in love with Amazon. Whoever created it is a mythical genius. However, I know firsthand that my love for online shopping is quickly aiding in the demise of shopping malls.

The irony is, I’ve worked in malls for almost two decades and truth be told, I am completely over them. It is such a hassle to get dressed and drive over to a mall, when I can simply sit at home in my undergarments and buy all of my must-have items. The reality is that I’m not the only shopper who feels this way. With the evolution of technology, you can virtually purchase anything so why would I choose any other way to shop?

Unfortunately this new-age way of thinking/shopping not only puts stores out of business, but it also leaves their workers unemployed in the process. The decline of brick and mortar retail has put a huge strain on the physical retail industry. Online sites are booming with sales, while many brands are closing its doors.

On the plus side there may be many positive, social shifts with all of the empty and open mall spaces. Now smaller business have an opportunity to rent larger spaces at a fraction of the cost because of the bigger brands leaving with little to no intention of returning. There’s also hope that many of these empty malls will be restored into community spaces such as churches, fitness centers, libraries and art galleries. Another possibility is remodeling those older buildings into rental complexes. These possibilities give more entrepreneurs and small business owners an opportunity to invest in upcoming projects which is huge for economical growth in many communities.

So how will we benefit from all of these changes? Well it may take time before immediate change happens, however this could be a great rebirth for upcoming generations. Instead of having a local mall for hang out, there could ultimately be a local gym, recreational center or even a hip new gallery for teens and young adults to meet and interact. With our younger generations being so tech-savvy and heavily invested in their phones, these reinventions may be just the thing needed to improve personal and professional development amongst our youth.