Read another article on the demise of "category killer" stores. These stores were so overwhelming in their inventory of a single category that they wiped out most small independent stores.
ToyrUs, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy....stores like that. It mentioned that it was believed that sales at Best Buy would go up when Circuit City went out, but that it didn't happen. (The same could probably be said for Barnes and Noble versus Borders.)
Whereas I saw a completely different dynamic. I saw Circuit City as Belgium falling before the Blitzkrieg, but that just makes Best Buy -- France.
Thinking you'll do better when all your competitors are failing seems illogical to me. If you saw all your farming neighbors failing because of bad weather, would you assume it would make your farm do better? Or would the same factors also be affecting you?
In essence, the article maintained that most of these stores are no longer working because they are too big in space, that when entire sections of the store become obsolete, it drags down the rest of the store. They have 3/4th a store in a 1 space.
Then I look at my store, and I have, more or less, 3 stores in the space of 1.
The article also suggested that these "category killers" would have to find product to replace the ineffective product, but that it would have to "fit" what they have. No easy task.
Then I look at my store, and after much experimentation and trying and failing and trying again, I have a mix of product that "fits."
The article suggested that each store will have to come up with a "unique" mix of inventory, which runs counter to what a big box store does.
Then I look at my store, and almost by definition, my store is made up of a "unique" mix of inventory.
Category Killers will need to come up with reasons to have people want to browse their stores, and be something other than 'destination stores' for one type of product.
My store is in a busy downtown core where I more or less depend on the people off the street, many of them tourists, finding it worthwhile to come in browse.
Finally, the article suggested that these stores will have to get smaller.
Which as I keep pointing out, just makes them regular stores -- which loses all the advantages they once had. Good luck with that.
Not just Category Killers, which are a specific type of Big Box store, the article goes on to say that it will also eventually drag down the more general type -- like Walmart.
The ponzi scheme of building more and more and bigger and bigger stores will come to an end -- because the INTERNET is the BIGGEST store of all. You'll have to use a tool other than "bigger" and "more product" or, indeed, "price" to attract customers. All the usual tricks won't work.
In other words, I think the irony is that smaller independent stores may well survive the advent of the internet better than the big box stores.
Which is a strange kind of justice.
5 days ago