2014 is the year that brick and mortar stores become increasingly less relevant, as well as increasingly scarce! You may read all about the number of declining retail stores, but it doesn’t end there. Consider the advances of online banking, thus making the necessity for physical locations much less of a need. With many companies now globalizing, and a growing virtual workforce, there isn’t much of a need to build additional locations or restrict themselves to particular regions. Even the brick and mortar casinos are beginning to get edged out by online gaming sites that offer the same amenities with less of the hassle.
Retail is huge, and with the recession behind us it is most certainly on the rise. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean foot traffic is increasing in the stores themselves. With companies like Amazon dominating just about every market, online retail sales are on the rise. If the brick and mortar companies of today want to compete and remain a retailer of tomorrow, then they need to increase their online offerings. No doubt the early adopters of web sales are in much better shape today, but it’s going to take consistent innovation to remain a key player.
As I mentioned before, even the once recession proof casinos are starting to feel the decline in revenues. As they work to improve their in-house offerings, rewards programs, and overall gimmicks, they seem to still be missing out on one key aspect adapting to the changing landscape…online gaming! When you can play casino games online at Paddy Power why would you travel several hundred (or perhaps thousand) miles just to play it in person. This is a major hurdle that casinos will need to address going forward.
Despite all of the bank consolidations we have seen since the economic meltdown in 2009 it is still abundantly clear that banks are facing stiff competition and rising overhead costs. You no longer need a branch per every square mile, in fact you may be oversaturating the market in doing so. With online and mobile banking becoming more popular we can now transfer funds, deposit checks, and pay bills from the comfort of our own home and at our own time. Just the other day I was able to deposit a check when I got home from work, late in the evening, and by taking a picture of it with my phone! You simply can’t match the sort of convenience with a brick and mortar location, nor would it be cost effective to try.
Lastly, consider that major Fortune 500 companies are closing office locations across the globe. With everyone having a smartphone, tablets, and laptops, we are able to work
remotely from anywhere in the world. Companies have invested money into applications that allow quick-and-easy web meetings between co-workers and clients alike. We can even dial-in to others computers if we choose. With benefits like these there’s no reason to continue and clutter the earth with more and more buildings that have little use and rising costs.