With the death of the US shopping mall becoming more and more inevitable, large department store brands are considering new opportunities for growth and sustainability.
According to CNBC, Macy’s is planning on testing a new format to their brick-and-mortar stores. Instead of more massive shopping mall anchor stores (like the 125 stores the company is currently in the process of closing), the retailer will look toward testing off-mall, small store locations.
What does this mean for retail and e-commerce? The implications are two-fold.
One, the diminished necessity for giant department stores signals an overall change in consumer shopping preferences — customers are turning toward e-commerce as the most convenient (and in the wake of COVID-19, most viable) shopping option. Insights data confirms this, and it was particularly evident throughout the late spring and summer, when US e-commerce revenue was up 125% YoY at its peak.
Two, there is still an appetite for in-store shopping, though on a smaller scale. Many customers prefer shopping at a physical location, and smaller off-mall stores meet that demand. Insights data shows a tapering of e-commerce revenue toward the end of summer, which suggests that some consumers are eschewing e-commerce now in favor of in-store purchases.
Going forward, data from Insights will help us track trends in retail and e-commerce, but based on Macy’s strategy, it seems omnichannel brands that can focus on e-commerce while still maintaining a physical presence will have the most success in online and offline retail.