Browse Definitions:
Definition

retail apocalypse

Contributor(s): Corinne Bernstein

Retail apocalypse refers to predictions that the U.S. retail sector is heading toward a severe downturn due to radical changes in that industry, the economy and shifts in consumer spending patterns.

Retail spending has grown steadily, though slowly, in recent years, but the American retail landscape is changing rapidly due to continued growth in e-commerce, an oversupply of shopping malls, and changes in what consumers are buying and how they are buying it. Online shopping -- which got its start in markets such as books and media -- has taken off in other areas, ranging from bedding to glasses. Easier return policies than in the past have also helped make e-commerce more attractive, and new apps and mobile wallets have made online shopping on smartphones common.

Although the biggest factor affecting brick-and-mortar stores is the surge in popularity of Amazon and other e-commerce companies, some economists point to pressures on retailers due to a shift in spending patterns since the Great Recession. Stagnating wages and high health care costs prompted people to rein in spending on clothing. There was a decline in demand for logo-driven brands and a growing interest in user experiences, particularly those that look good on social media, such as travel and restaurants.

Mall traffic is expected to continue declining and some anchor stores, or the large stores (usually department stores) that draw customers to malls, have shut down. However, although some companies have filed for bankruptcy, others have downsized and avoided bankruptcy while still remaining profitable, and still others have opened new stores.

The term has gained traction in news headlines and reports as some segments of the retail sector came under intense pressure in 2016 and 2017. Some economists and business experts, although acknowledging significant shifts in some retail segments and the potential for future turbulence, have suggested that the phrase “retail apocalypse” could be an overreaction and possibly a buzzword.

This was last updated in May 2017

Continue Reading About retail apocalypse

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • computer exploit

    A computer exploit, or exploit, is an attack on a computer system, especially one that takes advantage of a particular ...

  • cyberwarfare

    Cyberwarfare is computer- or network-based conflict involving politically motivated attacks by a nation-state on another ...

  • insider threat

    Insider threat is a generic term for a threat to an organization's security or data that comes from within.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder)

    OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) is open source software designed to create and manage a service that provides persistent data ...

  • SATA Express (SATAe)

    SATA Express (SATAe or Serial ATA Express) is a bus interface to connect storage devices to a computer motherboard, supporting ...

  • DIMM (dual in-line memory module)

    A DIMM (dual in-line memory module) is the standard memory card used in servers and PCs.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid flash array

    A hybrid flash array is a solid-state storage system that contains a mix of flash memory drives and hard disk drives.

  • 3D XPoint

    3D XPoint is memory storage technology jointly developed by Intel and Micron Technology Inc.

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close