Don’t Close Your Stores Just Yet

By Joe Keenan

In his opening keynote presentation at the Shop.org Annual Summit in Denver, Jerry Storch ,
chairman and CEO of Toys”R”Us, stated his case why brick-and-mortar
stores still play a vital – and often profitable – role in the retail
industry today. While it’s true that e-commerce sales are growing at a clip faster than the traditional store model, the fact remains that the vast majority of consumer purchases still occur within the confines of brick-and-mortar stores.

This is certainly the case for Toys”R”Us and its 875 Toys”R”Us and
Babies”R”Us stores in the U.S. As for the reasons why brick-and-mortar
stores are still smart investments for retailers, there are a couple of
inherent advantages to the channel, Storch said:

  • shopping in-store is a national pastime for many, especially women;
  • some product categories are better suited to be shopped for in-store (e.g., apparel); and
  • the immediacy of the store experience.

Physical stores make sense for retail brands from a P/L perspective
as well. Stores are the most efficient delivery vehicles for products,
Storch noted. Everything bought in-store is free shipping. In addition
to not having to pay the costly shipping expenses that online retailers
are burdened with – “free shipping” has to be paid for somewhere, Storch
said – brick-and-mortar retailers can offer high-quality customer
service that can be hard to find when shopping online.  Read the complete article

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