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Closing stores signal shifting retail trends

Earlier this week there was an announcement that "Radio Shack" would be closing 1100 of their stores across the U.S. There are over 5200 Radio Shack stores currently open with a huge concentration of their stores in the major populated areas.

R. Terpolilli

Radio shack, once a leader for electronic parts and products, recognizes that the big issue for the company is the need for an updated image.

On the heels of this news, Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) has also announced that they will be closing 225 stores in North America as a result of falling sales. "Staples" is the largest U.S. retail office supplier with over 1800 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

It is only evident that the "brick and mortar" approach of retail business is fading fast. The past holiday season confirmed that consumers are more willing to do their shopping online and the additional offer of free shipping certainly tipped the advantage to the internet. There was less foot traffic during the holiday season which meant less impulse buying and fewer cross selling opportunities for retail stores. And if bad weather is a factor, brick and mortar business suffers further.

Consumers are comfortable with the online shopping tools and the use of their mobile devices. They are too busy to drive to a mall, find a place to the car and walk the aisles searching for the right product. The efficiency and convenience of online services, plus the vast selection make an appealing combination for busy working families.

So what does the future hold for shoppers? Retail businesses will need to be resourceful and adapt to the changing trends of consumers. Check the attached video for more ideas for future retailers.

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