Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

A dead retail canary in a corona coal mine (4)

Since about 2010, people have been talking about a retail apocalypse. Since about 2018, these words have changed into retail armageddon (eg, BI, Bloomberg). The coronavirus pandemic is likely to accelerate this existing and ongoing development at the expense of many brick and mortar retail outlets around the world (eg, Forbes, March 1).

Shopping is a need for most people, a want for many men, and a belief for many women. The coronavirus pandemic is causing an awakening about retail shopping. Even online grocery shopping, including home delivery, is becoming the default for many people, who used to visit a supermarket. Please see my blogs on Needs, Wants & Beliefs and Awakening.

Over the years, retail shopping has been hurt by many developments: lack of parking spaces, high hourly parking fees, shopping mall (terrorist) attacks, and now the coronavirus including its social distancing requirements. For decades, retailers wanted us to believe that “shopping is fun“. I think, feel and believe that people are quite close to losing that belief.

Since mid March, Dutch bars and restaurants are closed. Many small (family-owned) retail shops are still open in my country, albeit with a few or no visitors. Several big retail chains have closed their doors and refuse to pay their small landlords (eg, FT, VK). Once small family businesses go bankrupt, they are gone forever, unlike a chain outlet.

My almost daily visit to the local supermarket is about my only social event. Over the past 5 weeks, I have come to realise that grocery shopping is the only must in my life. I’m minimising all other shopping, partly following stocking supplies, and partly due to the coronavirus. I haven’t even bought anything online for (at least) the past 5 weeks.

The reports about an expected second wave of the coronavirus is not feeding my appetite to resume retail shopping. Moreover, once you do not miss something – or someone – why still care about it? Hence, the title of this blog: a dead retail canary in a corona coal mine (part 3). For my two other blogs, please see part 1 (2016) and part 2 (2017).

In the 1960s, small family owned retailers visited their local customers for home deliveries. In the 1970s and 1980s, these local retailers were replaced by suburban shopping malls with ample parking spots for taking your stuff home. Companies like Amazon are like online shopping malls with home delivery. The “shopping is fun” experience has been removed from this process.

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping”.

An alleged quote by actress Bo Derek. Quote Investigator states that “Joanna Lee is the leading candidate for creator”.

Suburbia (1986) by Pet Shop Boys
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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1 Comment

  1. Unknown

    Great relection on the way people worldwide are looking at their shopping experiences in todays new normal


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