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Can The Retail Apocalypse Create A Suburban Renaissance?

This article was originally published by cosmetic journalist and Public Relations consultant Imogen Matthews. To get in touch with Imogen or for more exclusive industry insights, visit or follow @prembeauty on Twitter.

Not a day goes by where there is not another news story or blog post about the retail apocalypse. The retail bubble we’re experiencing was years in the making. Retailers became addicted to discounting, lazy about product differentiation, opened too many doors, and consolidation made them too large to react to changing consumer preferences.

Sure, there is increased competition from e-commerce, but the majority of purchases still happen in a physical store. In fact, e-commerce still represents less than 10% of total retail sales and is projected to remain below 20% even 5 years from now. The competition of online shopping is simply fueling a much-needed shakeup of the traditional retail landscape. Offline shopping is not dead, it is simply evolving.

FINALLY, a story with a new perspective and very interesting perspective. Noah Smith at Bloomberg explores the current retail crisis from a far more optimistic place. He explores the premise that the retail apocalypse will create opportunities for reshaping the American landscape. Modern US cities, especially the suburbs, are built around retail stores, but there are other activities and reasons people cluster—restaurants, bars, schools, day-care facilities, hospitals, etc. None of that is going to vanish because of online retail.

Would rethinking the suburban experience be such a bad thing? Perhaps that light at the end of this tedious retail tunnel is a suburban renaissance.

Read the full article on Bloomberg.

Photo: David Marcu via Unsplash

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