Steve Beaman, chairman the Society to Advance Financial Education, told Newsmax TV that mass store closures and layoffs by Sears, Macy’s and Kmart only prove that the retail industry continues to undergo a sea change because of online shopping.
And this seismic shift may soon extinguish a cultural landmark of the recent past – the American shopping mall.
JD Hayworth asked Beaman on "America Talks Live" if malls are a relic of a bygone era.
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“My personal opinion is they are,” he said. He cited many many requiring adults to chaperone those under the ages of 21 or 18.
“So we're already going to see the demise of it being the hang out for kids and I think that will change the retailing habits of it. The overall security concerns of the bricks-and-mortar retailers is going to become a draining cost on them. So, they're going to think more and more let's go to the internet,” he said.
Disappointing holiday-season sales at Macy's Inc. and Kohl's Corp. underscored the uphill task facing department stores to win back shoppers, who are increasingly turning to online retailers and spending less on apparel, Reuters reported.
Macy's said it will close 63 of its 730 stores this year and expects to cut more than 10,000 jobs as it seeks to reduce costs. Sales at established stores fell 2.1 percent in November and December, the New York-based retailer said late Wednesday. Kohl's also reported a 2.1 percent sales drop at established stores in the last two months of 2016, the AP reported.
Sears, which has lost money for years amid falling revenue, said it plans to shut 150 locations, including 109 of its Kmart stores. Among those closing is Kmart's first store, the Detroit Free Press reported, which opened in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan. And Sears is also set to part with another part of its history: It reached a deal to sell its famous Craftsman tools brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc., but will continue to sell its products in its stores. Sears first took control of the Craftsman name 90 years ago.
“Clearly the internet is having a major effect on the big retailers. Secondly, the real estate values of some of the property they hold as extraordinary so they can raise moment by closing these stores and selling off the property," he said.
"But both Sears and Macys are going to have to come into the 21st century," he warned.
"In fact, I was at a Nordstrom recently and I asked a sales clerk how sales were at the store. He said, 'Well compared to our internet sales out of the store, we do virtually nothing, but we keep it open as a brand identity thing,'" Beaman said.
"And I think that's the kind of change retail's going through in general. No one likes to see these jobs transitioning but it's something you and I both know, as technology takes over the middle-class jobs are going to be changed and this is part of seeing that play out.”
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