To say that digital commerce is killing off physical stores is lazy thinking and a half-truth.
On the contrary, pure-play online shopping is the imperiled model, evidenced by the lack of e-commerce-only retailers — save for Amazon and eBay — that have gained any meaningful heft and influence.
Of course, e-commerce is informing how we shop, having an outsized impact on traditional retail: from the rise of buy online, pick up in-store perks to the fact that Amazon is now the second biggest seller of consumer electronics after Best Buy.
But the spate of retail bankruptcies, store closings and liquidations doesn’t mean consumers have traded in bricks for clicks. They reflect a mixed brew of factors, including a vastly overstored retail landscape still sized for a pre e-commerce/pre Great Recession shopping mindset, just as consumers buy fewer tangible things, like a new purse, opting for more experiential purchases, like a dinner out.