retail news in context, analysis with attitude

There were a couple of retail-oriented stories in the New York Times over the weekend that looked at the past, present and possible future.

One compares the virtually desolate Burlington Center Mall in New Jersey, which used to be enormously busy but now is barely a shell of itself, to a "beehive of activity just 20 miles to the south." That beehive is an Amazon fulfillment center, where "more than 4,000 people and an indeterminate number of robots store, pick, pack and ship the company’s countless inventory, sometimes for same-day delivery. Inside the building, 10 miles of conveyor belts are the veins and arteries of this outpost of the e-commerce giant."

But that doesn't mean the mall is dead - just that their ability to survive may be a matter of location, demographics and vision. You can read the story here.

And, the Times had a similarly themed story about how "today, some of the most sought-after real estate by retailers is not in SoHo, but five miles away in Red Hook, a gritty Brooklyn enclave with a shipbuilding past. E-commerce merchants are vying to lease part of a huge warehouse space, spanning 11 acres, that would allow them to deliver goods the same day they’re ordered online.

"The profound reordering of New York’s shopping scene reflects a broad restructuring in the American retail industry."

You can read this story here.
KC's View: