Online Shopping Creates New Challenges for Brick and Mortar Stores

Fayetteville, AR -- - Another major retailer has filed for bankruptcy. Payless is closing nearly 400 stores, including the one in Harrison.

With the new wave of online shopping, brick and mortar stores are facing new challenges. Because of this, stores in Northwest Arkansas are amping up their online presence.

 "We really are in the middle of a revolution right now in terms of how people shop. Online shopping is having a tremendous effect on all kinds of brick and mortar stores." Kathy Deck said.

With nine major retailers filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the first three months of this year, the industry is on pace for the highest number is such filings since 2009.

Macy's, J.C. Penny, and Radioshack are just a few of the companies that have announced closures.

The Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, Kathy Deck, says companies are starting to cater more to the online shopper.

"Online shopping is certainly convenient. And I think it is the convenience feature of it that has really caught people's attention. One of the big ways that companies are responding to the growth in online shopping is something called omni-channel retailing. That means they sell things in stores and online."

The website manager at Fayettechill, Connor Cockrell, said they are seeing more online sales than ever before. 

"When we first started our brick and mortar stores they carried the bulk of our direct sales but now it's starting to even out a lot more with online carrying that. Online is a lot more convenient for a lot of people especially if you want to broaden your reach to people outside of a local area where a brick and mortar store the best way to do that is through online sales."

More people are choosing to shop online because of the convenience factor. Cockrell said having the online presence allows them to broaden their audience.

"It does allow people who maybe lived in Fayetteville and moved away or people who haven't ever lived in Northwest Arkansas but they've heard about Fayettechill and they want to be a part of that lifestyle. They can order something from us online."

Deck said the surge of online shopping isn't only because of convenience, but because of the variety of selections and low prices.

 


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