Amazon didn’t kill retail. It’s challenging the old way of doing retail. Think of it as the circle of retail life, if you will: Companies that are most popular among the public take center stage, and when their time is up, the next wave of trending brands has its turn in the spotlight.
So yes, in a way, retail is both dying and thriving. Since the dying companies have been sprawled across the headlines lately, here are a few that are thriving now and how.
What are they doing right?
It’s not so much as a “secret sauce,” but more of a strategic plan that was formulated before it was too late. Check out the case studies below for some insight into some companies’ survival skills.
Embracing online options such as grocery delivery or “click-and-collect.”
Case Study: Known since inception for its “everyday low pricing,” Walmart continues to combat competition by not fighting ecommerce, but seizing it with hybrids of free services such as Grocery Delivery, click-and-collect, and next-day shipping. At the start of 2019, Walmart partnered with four delivery companies to accelerate the Grocery Delivery program and has rolled it out to over 800 stores already.
Creating experiences that outweigh ecommerce’s convenience.
Case Study: Kohl’s is capitalizing on experiential shopping by aiming for 85% unique assortments, meaning no two stores will be the same to the customer. Moreover, the retailer utilizes revolutionary technology for decreasing wait time during the checkout process, as well as created a mobile payment app, Kohl’s Pay, to enable users to shop, scan, save, and pay while in-store. Another way Kohl’s is boosting the convenience factor is by accepting eligible Amazon returns at their stores, even without a box or label. The service is free and Kohl’s has been known to throw in a coupon for their own company at times.
Listening to their customers.
Case Study: Discount retailer, Dollar General is implementing a fresh food initiative with more freezers and coolers in their stores due to demand for healthier options from low-income communities. On the note of consumer demand, it also launched its first private-label cosmetics line last April and has received an influx of positive feedback. Dollar General will have opened about 975 stores by the end of this year alone, making it the largest brick-and-mortar footprint today.
Say what you want about ecommerce pushing storefronts to go extinct, but it only accounts for 10 percent of total U.S. retail as of early 2019. The retail sphere has proven to be a prime example of “survival of the fittest,” where the weakest eventually fade out and the strongest push forward.