When Macy's recently announced it was closing stores across the country, including here in Sarasota, it was stunning, wasn't it? To many of us, Macy's has always been a symbol of classy, high-end retail, the very fabric of America. But as Ray Collins tells us, even Macy's can't compete with changing times.
Yeah, and some say department stores may go the way of video stores, bookstores, and travel agencies some day. It happened earlier this month in Sarasota. Macy's announced it was closing this store at the corner of Boniva and US 41. It's no mystery. Experts say, "When people can shop from their home computers, many don't need to go to the store."
Well, ECommerce is obviously having a very significant impact.
Bob Eisenbeis is a vice president at Cumberland Advisors on Sarasota's Bayfront. He says, "The economy is dynamic and ever-changing."
It doesn't matter whether you're talking about the movement from agriculture to manufacturing back in 1900s. At the time of 1900, for example, it took one person to feed two in the United States. Now we have less than 2% of the population involved in agriculture and we're feeding the whole population.
The basic concept is called creative destruction. Something new, a new technology comes along, and it really destroys a lot of infrastructure, a lot of things that have been in place.
Rob Lyons is managing partner of Generations Wealth Planning. He says, "So-called creative destruction has changed the face of retail in the past couple of decades."
It has been video stores, it has been travel agencies, it has been bookstores … are all of these types of retail outlets have been, frankly, destroyed by new efficiencies.
And Lyon says, "Make no mistake. It's not over yet."
Driverless cars, for example. Think of taxi companies. Think of auto insurance companies, if cars don't get in accidents anymore. This is a recurring theme in the economy.
A recurring theme, but Eisenbeis admits there's such a thing as too much technology being a bad thing.
When people rely on social media to the extent they are, are we losing human interaction? And what are children learning about how to behave in that kind of environment? So, lots of issues here.
That's a different show entirely.
Bob says, "Fourth quarter retail numbers are due out this week," and he says, "They may go down again," Alan.
Ray, thank you. So, what does this mean for retailers across the Suncoast? Coming up, we get reaction from the Chamber of Commerce to Wall Street, to business experts. The trapezoid is next.