Retailers Face Limited Future

It’s not easy being a story these days.  The giants of U.S. retail industry, including Sears, J.C. Penney, Macy’s. K-Mart and so many others are struggling, and most are choosing which locations they are going to close. 

The Amazon-Effect is decimating traditional retail operations in the U.S. and record numbers of companies are in trouble.  “There are about 50 companies that could file for bankruptcy protections this year,” hedge fund manager Jason Mudrick tells Business Insider.  That would be a record.

Business analyst Adam Hartung tells KTRH News the impact going forward is going to be profound and deeply felt in unanticipated ways.  “We’re going in to a world where there will be one-third the number of stores we have today.  The purpose of going to a store will be to look at an item, hold an item, and turn around and buy it online.”  Property taxes and the schools they support will be impacted, as will municipalities and states dependent on sales tax revenue, Hartung suggests.  “The retailers can’t dump the stores fast enough because there’s no one interested in that real estate and they’re forced into bankruptcy.”

It’s being called the Amazon-Effect.  Amazon has become the place where America shops, the company accounting for 53% of all growth in online sales last year.  Forrester Research projects that online sales, currently at $335 billion a year, will increase 56%, up to $523 billion a year, within five years.

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