Rise of Online Shopping Accelerates Retail Apocalypse in 2017

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Trump Blames Amazon for the Bloodbath in American Retail

There’s no better way to put it; America’s brick-and-mortar retail industry is dying. Big names in retail are going bankrupt left, right, and center. Thousands of American workers have already lost their jobs in the sector and more job losses are expected to follow.

E-commerce is the elephant in the room, which is a term Americans are synonymously using for Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). While there are countless other online retailers serving the American consumer today, Amazon remains the undisputed leader in this space, which is probably why President Trump is blaming the e-commerce behemoth for the countless retail job losses this year.

Job Losses in Retail Sector in 2017 So Far

While it’s true that Amazon has also reportedly added thousands of jobs at its fulfilment centers across the country, the lost jobs in retail may still outnumber the jobs created.

For instance, since the beginning of this year, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have cut nearly 64,000 jobs. During just the month of July, 3,862 retail jobs were reported to have been cut. In fact, retail job cuts for the first seven months of 2017 are 46.7% higher than for the same period a year ago, when about 43,618 job cuts were announced.

It’s understandable why digital retail has emerged as a threat to America’s traditional retail industry. Americans, particularly the millennials, are showing a growing interest in online shopping. Recent surveys show that the trend towards online shopping has significantly grown over the past five years.

Technology has played the most significant role in shaping this trend. The ubiquity of smart devices connected to fast-speed Internet, the ease of browsing and choosing a wide variety of products with the swipe of a finger, and quick delivery services have all improved the buying experience for online shoppers.

The consequence of this trend is obvious. Thousands of retail stores have been forced to shut down, seeing a decline in store traffic. In fact, Credit Suisse forecasts that the total number of store closures by the end of this year could easily surpass the store closures that occurred through the Great Recession.

Safe to say, 2017 will go down in history as the year the “retail bubble” burst.

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