Poor Retail

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SaaS, or Shopping as a Service is killing retail.

If there was one investment or model that I would have considered safe forever – say 20 years ago, it would be retail. If I had, I was sure wrong.

The Internet and sales tax laws are conspiring to make retail a thing of the past. I live between two fairly new malls in Boulder, and both are hurting. I think they are hurting, I never actually go there any more so I can’t be certain. But the seasonal Halloween stores seem to have anchor locations at both malls.

Best Buy had it made – CompUSA, Circuit City, Ultimate Electronics (local chain), and many more all died – leaving Best Buy the lone (major) survivior. A dream come true, except it is next. It’s a vicious cycle, local stores cost more because of inventory, staff, and location costs. The fact the local store costs more makes us resentful, so forget the option, just buy online unless there is no choice.

The mall used to be fun. I used to like the software stores, the shoe stores, the toy stores, and the gadget stores. All of that has pretty much moved to online now. Online always has more sizes and colors, and frankly it is just easier.

Dave Michels