To Survive COVID, Retailers Need to Embrace Creative Destruction

June 4 2021 by Greg Petro

pexels-artem-beliaikin-2519790 (1)“Excess Stores Trigger Shakeout In Overbuilt U.S. Retail Industry.”


There’s a headline that won’t shock anyone who hasn’t been living in a shack in a remote forest in Alaska for the past year or so. Everyone who follows the retail world knows that America began the pandemic with an obscene amount of space devoted to retailing: 23 square feet per capita, the most in the world by a long shot. (Canada was second with 16 square feet per capita.)


But guess what? That headline appeared in 1997, almost a quarter-century ago, when long-forgotten anchor brands like Montgomery Ward and Woolworth’s were going out of business and century-old Sears was still one the nation’s top retailers.


Fast forward two decades to 2017, the peak of the “retail apocalypse,” and we find this headline: “Retailers Built Too Many Stores And The Bubble Is Bursting.” That was when companies such as Toys “R” Us and Payless Shoes were filing for bankruptcy after failed expansion plans.


And then this headline, from April 2021: “Retail Market May Be Overbuilt to the Tune of 1 Billion Square Feet.”


The news in the retail industry these days is focused on the details of “dead malls,” the bits vs. bricks debate, return strategies (by mail or in-store), supply-chain issues, store layouts, reducing waste, and the ever-proliferating micro-channels that marketers must sort through to try to reach their customers.


The pandemic changed everything, but it has yet to jolt the industry as a whole into dealing with the overarching problem that success in retailing is, like all capitalistic endeavors, an ongoing process of creative destruction.

Read the Full Article at if you are a subscriber or Download the PDF below.

retailers  retail  voice of the customer  future of retail  Consumer Data  brands  Future of Brands  retail stores


Featured Product

InsightSuite for Small Business

Specialized Tools for Small & Emerging Businesses

The fastest and most cost effective way to increase sales, profits and sell-in for growing businesses and digitally native brands.

Learn more
Free Ebook

Maximize Value, Speed & Profit

Learn how to leverage Voice of the Customer Analytics and 3D Product Creation to make more profitable products, faster.

Get the Free E-book
Roundtable Video

Kohl's Creates Value W/Predictive Analytics

Learn How First Insight's Predictive Tools Fuel Kohl's Success

As one of the world's leading omnichannel retailers with more than 1,100 stores in 49 states, Kohl's is leveraging First Insight's predictive analytics solution and voice-of-the-customer data to improve their business.

Watch the Webinar

Consumer Sustainability Survey 2021

The First Industry-Wide Consumer Study On Shoe Sustainability

This industry-wide survey aims to create a critical baseline that brands and retailers can use to ensure they understand what consumers actually comprehend, what terms and phrases resonate best, and what areas they should prioritize.

Download the Webinar & Findings