Macy’s, Sears, J. Crew, Radio Shack, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Payless Shoe Source, Toys R Us, closed or closing stores in 2018.
Borders, Barnes and Noble, and indie bookstores everywhere are closing. Mom and Pop shops are no more. What Ebay and Etsy did to antique stores, Amazon is doing to all the rest of the brick and mortar retail shops.
Ask any millennial and they will tell you that they buy EVERYTHING on Amazon – dog food, cookware, clothes, electronics, socks, and books for those who still read them.
Amazon started by selling books at a discount, and demanded a deeper discount from publishers as its sales grew. The publishers agreed, never dreaming that Amazon would eventually do so well that the big publishers would have to merge to stay alive. Amazon set the price of ebooks. The other publishers had to follow suit to compete. Authors saw royalties get cut in half or worse as publishers adjusted their author contracts to state that if they gave a deep discount, author royalties on those sales would drop by 50%.
Millennials think everything online should be free. Napster started it with free downloadable music. The music industry saw lost royalties and sued. Napster went belly-up, but not before it destroyed musicians’ royalties. Now singers go on the road touring to make the money they used to make from record sales.
I am a children’s book author. PDF versions of all twenty-nine of my picture books are available online for free. Why pay $17.00 for a book when you can get a free pdf of it? Teachers used to be big customers. Now they can copy my stuff and use it in their classrooms without buying a thing.
Creators need to be compensated for what they create. Not all of us can go on the road to make up lost royalties in speaker fees. The brick and mortar stores have to earn a profit. Rents are up, sales are down. Where is the incentive to staff a store if no one is coming in to shop?
One of these days, all we will have left is Walmart, Target and Amazon.
And Costco- there will always be Costco.
Don’t complain about the loss of your town’s charm and identity if you are buying all your Christmas gifts online. Of course the local stores will close without your purchases.
That one of a kind treasure that you happen upon in a shop will be no more. No more browsing, no more window shopping unless you are shopping with Windows on your PC.
I had a brick and mortar retail shop for six and a half years. I had an online shop for almost as long. Retail is work. Customers can be difficult and are getting worse. Gen-X mothers want what they want, and they want if now. With free shipping.
I’m glad to be out of retail. I can do more writing, albeit it for a much smaller piece of the pie than I used to earn. I’ll rely on social security and Medicare someday to make up the difference.
Oh, that’s right, my esteemed leader and his congress are trying to do away with some of that, too. I guess I’ll keep selling bonnets out of my living room for eternity . . .
. . . or until 2000 people officially like my blog so I can sell my adult book (I’m halfway there).
Then I can live it up by buying groceries online and have them delivered . . .
. . . for free.