Posts Tagged ‘commerce’

By R.C. Seely

THE MEDIA HAS REPORTED that “malls across the country are dying off.” The supposed culprit for their demise is the internet and its impact on the business models. I don’t think so. The internet simply demonstrated the vulnerability of big business, they over extended themselves.

At times of excess before the great recession of 2008, the biggest retail organizations in the United States just kept building while ignoring the looming change in business. The internet did what mail order did and gave the customer more options; in areas with few brick and mortar stores, this proved to be a saving grace; in areas with more stores losses were inevitable.

And with both additions to the market, the “big boys” complained about the competition, but ignored the fact they were responsible for the damage by not adapting when they should have. So, they had to perform massive scaling back measures closing many stores and cutting the jobs. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that the internet has made it easier for the little guys to fill the niches. Online commerce has proven to be the leveler of the market that had been distorted by big corporations, all thanks to the minimal regulations and restrictions on the “information superhighway.” The internet is mostly tax-free on products, and fees for advertising and selling are minimal, making it ideal for growth.

The internet was sent up in the 1980s, and started showing the signs of the coming changes in the nineties. By the early 2000s if you didn’t have an email address for your business you were behind the curb, the big companies least affected by the web already designed a solid online infrastructure. Target, Walmart and Home Depot, didn’t lose as many stores as the other large corporations. They welcomed the new manner in doing business and fewer local economies were hurt.

The damage done wasn’t due to the internet but short-sightedness on the part of the large companies who foolishly believed the internet was simply a fad–a similar sentiment about mail order, I’m sure. It’s a fairly effective way to avoid culpability for your failures, and make the other guy look bad for doing so.

Many of us do business almost entirely online thanks to Amazon. All my books couldn’t be possible without the services of Createspace, one of Amazon’s subsidiaries. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything the company does, but they perform services along with selling discounted products that benefit the consumer and that can’t be denied.

Amazon has also given another point of consideration, while many are shutting down their brick and mortar stores, this retail giant recently opened its first one. Clearly, they don’t see this as the end of malls and they have been pretty accurate in their predictions so far.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.