Saturday, February 23, 2013

One easy graph that illustrates all you need to know about the future of Retail Stores and Employment in that sector.

Here is a bar chart showing the decline in jobs in various "brick and mortar" retail stores.  "Brick and mortar" is a metaphor for physical stores that you can walk into and buy stuff.

Keep in mind, this is the decrease JUST SINCE 2001!

Source: EMSI
What is the cause of this decline?

Almost everything sold in a physcal stores represented by the above retail categories (some more than others) can be found in one of these devices you can hold in the palm of your hand.

Take a moment to look at your phone and list the things it can do (while in the palm of your hand) that in a prior and relatively recent time you had to have a separate and distinct device to perform that same task.

This is an example of an economic game-changer that is the result of "distruptive technology" (also known as disruptive innovation):
""A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in the new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.""
This comes at a cost.  "Brick and Mortar" stores produce jobs locally.  The Smartphones produce DIFFERENT jobs and don't have the local, physical retail impact that the Best Buys, Barnes and Nobles, Office Depots, Virgin Record Stores, of the world do.

Luddites of the World are weeping...
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