Demise of Retail

I have been writing about the demise of retail for some time. The lack of imagination, the massive amount of inventory, the shitty experience, and the inability to look into the future and rethink the model. Everything new that has opened up over the last few years looks just like stores in the 1980s. Then, of course, came private equity and debt.

The US economy and the global economy is going to have a tough time getting back. Sending large checks to corporations that are doing absolutely nothing creatively where the small business owners are the ones that will think out of the box to survive get very little is infuriating and depressing.

Emily got it right when she wrote about the restaurant industry yesterday, is that we are simply fucked. There is no leadership at the helm in our country. We are in need of fixing inequality and healthcare not just returning to the way things have always been done. Bail out, file for bankruptcy and move on. That is not going to help the economy.

It is time for new leadership and new ideas. Things have been bad for years in retail but the way out was taking on debt from private equity and then just cutting people and real estate until the stores were somewhat afloat. That is not a visionary plan, that is treading water while waiting for the tsunami.

We need fundamental change in retail. People will eventually want to return to the stores, buy some clothes and get out of sweat pants but they are going to support a new experience. That experience must be profitable so everybody gets to swim to shore.

Covid-19 has forced an opportunity on us to create a new economic model. We have no other choice.