Good advice for brick-and-mortar retailers

Shopping Mall Struggles

The American shopping mall is in the midst of one of its biggest existential crises since the concept was first planted here in Minnesota decades ago, a July 9 story reported.

Article Star-Tribune, 2017-07-09

Retailers, look within

Regarding the July 9 front-page article “Malls facing a revolution,” I suggest stores stop blaming Amazon and start asking the customer why they are not enjoying the experience.  Have you shopped recently?  I went to buy clothes for my granddaughters a few weeks ago.  It was intrusive and not a pleasant experience.

Every store I entered had a salesperson trying to become my best friend.  Not all of us are extroverts.  Asking if they could help me find something is telling me they may not want me to stay.  If they tell me they don’t carry it, I leave.  Wouldn’t they rather I stay and browse or get new ideas?  Every store offered me a credit card along with bonus sign-up points, sale prices and future offers.  This is not the retail business. This is the banking business.  Most of the stores did not have the sizes I needed but told me the items could be ordered online.  Then I should stay home.  Let’s hope I don’t need the item today.  Every store wanted my e-mail to notify me of specials.  I delete free advertising online.  Most of the stores carry unflattering items all resembling each other at similar price points.  I want something unique, fun, colorful and that fits well.  I doubt very much a noisy bowling alley, a Ferris wheel or free water will get me in the door, but who knows.

Letter to the Star-Tribune editor by Julia Fink, Wayzata, 2017-07-16

I thought Ms. Fink had many excellent points and retailers have only themselves to blame for their own decline.