Dr. Glenn Gearhart CEO of World Market Vendor Services, Inc. provides News and Commentary

An Assured Path To Retail Store Growth

The decline and possible death of the physical retail stores and the assured path to survival and new high growth

US Market

Although this analysis in retail history is based upon the US and Canada markets, these trends and patterns have occurred in most of the developed countries. But more important, the path to survival and new high growth apply to all retailers- worldwide without exception!

In the late 1960s and on into the 1970s, we saw a reductions in the popularity and the sales volume of the downtown stores. New, modern, super stores located in the suburb malls were replacing these stores. Not every downtown or isolated individual store disappeared, but many did. The major malls, with 100s of integrated, but individualized focus market stores, and the concentrated strip mall approach to delivery of physical stores to the consumer, became the norm throughout the 80s and the 90s. Also, in the 90s and on into the decade of 2000, the trend for physical retail stores moved to manufacturers' outlet malls and to add some degree of shopping downtown through redevelopment areas or special retail development zones.

With the continuing movement of the world population to more and more internet acceptance and usage; and the continuing rapid growth in broadband wireless services; and the usage of smartphones; online retail sales is and will continue to be the next frontier and the transaction destination of shoppers for at least the next decade. Retailers who fail to recognize this and/or fail to gain traction in this retail arena, will lose market share, sales revenues and investor support. This is not speculation, this is an inevitable statement of fact.

I offer a few supporting facts: many physical retailers are finding shoppers entering their retail store looking at product displays, or trying on clothes or jewelry, then while in the physical store the customer goes online and finds a better price and orders the item online from another online retailer. This is called “Showrooming,” and it is not going away. Second, a retailer with the overhead of manning physical stores typically can not afford to sell at the price an online retailer can offer. Target Stores and Best Buy, large U.S. retailers, are two of the many big box stores that are struggling with the Showrooming problem.

The good news is your store does not need to die! World Market has a simple low cost path for your retail store to move gently, and with very little capital expenditure or risks into the world’s online retail sales community. I believe the available options will fit your desired level of transfer commitment, your desire for pilot sales programs, your desire for market testing and research, and provide many other beneficial management tools and evaluation procedures.

I recommend you test your online marketing approach with a limited set of products, a single or a multiple number of countries, structure the roll-out in phases that allow for not only test, reviews and adjustments, but also online operating procedures development and all the tasks that are needed to assure success. These important tasks can be done in an environment that you control, on a solid established ecommerce platform designed and operated for your success.

If you already have an online presence, either with your own ecommerce site or you are selling through other sites, World Market provides you with an additional excellent distribution channel. A distribution channel with full world coverage, no payment processor dictated charge backs, and the highly desired and proprietary Pay-online-with-CASH™ service. No other online distribution channel can offer you these great advantages.