This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Retail Store of the Future

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- The Internet killed the music business, ruined the newspaper industry and has effectively brought the publishing world to its knees, and for years there has been speculation it would do the same to bricks-and-mortar retail stores, as consumers began to flock online for their shopping needs.

These fears reached a fever pitch in recent months as such major retailers as Blockbuster and Borders, once thought to be powerhouses in the industry, have been forced into bankruptcy largely due to competition they faced from online services including Netflix and Amazon. But even with these setbacks, rumors of the death of the bricks-and-mortar store may be vastly overstated.

Apple Store
Apple is an example of retailer that has made its stores more of a destination and less of an errand -- a model experts say more bricks-and-mortar retailers should copy to compete with online sales.

"Way back when the Internet first started up, lots of people were calling me asking what we will do with all the empty retail stores," said Mike Gatti, executive director of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation. More than a decade since the first major retailers set up shop online, bricks-and-mortar stores are still here, and many continue to thrive.

That doesn't mean it's business as usual. Each year, more and more consumers venture online to do their shopping, lured by websites and smartphone apps that make it easier than ever before to spot deals, compare prices, research products and ultimately make a purchase while on the go or from the comfort of their own home. Last year online sales increased by nearly 10% from 2009, far outpacing the retail industry's overall growth.

Just because more people shop online, though, doesn't mean they'll stop shopping at stores completely. Indeed, for most retail sectors, a physical store can serve a fundamentally different function, giving consumers the ability to see, taste and touch the products in a way that is impossible online. The challenge for retailers in the future, industry analysts say, will be to figure out a way to play up the strengths of the bricks-and-mortar store while incorporating new technology into the experience.

"Everyone is saying the store is dead, but I say long live the store," said Lisa Gomez, a senior manager who studies the retail section at Deloitte, a consulting firm. "The physical store is going to remain central to the shopping experience, but the walls are coming down. Customers are going to want an updated, unique experience in stores, and retailers will need to figure out what exactly they want and how to give it to them."

Already, big and small retailers in the U.S. and abroad are beginning to adapt to changing consumer demands by adopting new technologies to make their stores stand out in the face of online competition.

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,113.54 +61.81 0.36%
S&P 500 1,983.53 +9.90 0.50%
NASDAQ 4,456.0160 +31.3120 0.71%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs