A confession: The other day, on an unrelated errand, I found myself parked a few yards from the pet store that carries my cats’ preferred brand of litter. I almost walked in and made the purchase, but then I weighed the impact of that exertion against the effort it would take for me to reorder the litter online and pass the litter-carrying workload to an anonymous member of America’s fast-growing delivery workforce. Spoiler alert: I never got out of my car. While my laziness is impressive, my decision was anything but unique. Ecommerce and quick delivery services are obliterating malls and other terrestrial stores. About one in ten Americans works in retail. Consider this from the NYT: “More workers in general merchandise stores have been laid off since October, about 89,000 Americans. That is more than all of the people employed in the United States coal industry.” That makes this a fair question: Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?
+ The fall of the mall is about more than Amazon. From Derek Thompson: What in the World Is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017