Retraction statement: article initially stated “”. That was incorrect. Article has been updated to state 74% will go to Amazon first when they’re ready to buy a specific product.
Convenience is key when it comes to ultimately wooing consumers from one long-established financial habit and bringing them into another. Several decades ago pundits and economics laughed and scoffed at the concept of selling products and services online, going as far as to assume that online businesses would never replace the traditional brick-and-mortar establishments. Well, times are changing and the Goliath that is the e-commerce industry is taking bigger chunks out of America’s malls.
According to a recent report, 74% will go to Amazon first when they’re ready to buy a specific product (retraction:
Amazon specifically accounts for more than 74% of all e-commerce transactions). With increased productivity and features such as faster delivery options, its no surprise that many consumers would rather relax at home instead of taking a trip out to the mall where the product they are searching for may not even be in stock.
According to RedTea News “After a half-century of dominating the American retail experience, malls may finally go the way of the dodo. Only in urbanized areas will malls or similar shopping districts likely maintain a presence, as long as they remain in high-density population areas or in close proximity to public transportation.”
E-commerce isn’t the only threat to the average retail worker, however, automation has been turning from a uncomfortable side topic into a full-on, present issue of concern within the retail, trucking, and fast food industry within the last five years especially. From automated cashiers at McDonald’s to self-checkout lines at Wal-Mart, the average American consumer might be saving more money while out on the town while businesses pocket more profit, but several million jobs are at stake of getting axed within the next decade alone.
For teenage unemployment which has been on the decline since the 2008 recession, increasingly automated jobs will replace what minimum wage work is available, meaning the pool of applicants which consist of more working adults than in previous generations will leave many youngsters out of a first job, where the principles of work and professionalism are meant to be established.
Speaking of working adults, automation and e-commerce will begin to tighten the workforce in retail and fast food which employs an estimated fifteen-million working Americans. With higher demand for increased wages, outsourcing of American jobs to developing nations, as well as automation, has already begun to take away domestic labor bargaining power.
The American worker is struggling as e-commerce picks away at jobs people used to see as reliable, while automation will eat away at the rest, meaning it’ll be near impossible for the working class employee, who might be great at their job, to compete with technology that is designed to be perfect.
While e-commerce eliminates one competitor at the time, there are newer opportunities created for entrepreneurs and innovators every day, meaning that while the classic American mall might become a museum of the past, there are exciting possibilities the consumer hasn’t even imagined yet to come.
Sources: Redtea News, Brookings Institute