The Rise of E-Commerce Threatens Brick and Mortars

Though physical retail locations lasted through the birth of the Internet, they are rapidly diminishing in the 21st century with the rise of e-commerce. Brick and mortars are beginning to close as online shopping continues to grow. Now, the evolution of browsing and spending has come full circle, threatening the existence of physical retailers everywhere.

Who does this affect?

Stores that were once deemed retail giants have faced unfortunate fate at the hands of e-commerce. Among the long list is Carson Pirie Scott, who is closing a multitude of locations. Joining them is Toys R’ Us, shutting down 800 stores nationwide, with Best Buy and Footlocker following suit. This is not to say these businesses aren’t working hard to keep up with internet culture. It is imperative to their success that they remain cutting edge and on the good side of their investors.

Internet Sensations

Amazon and recent online retail notables such as ASOS, Boohoo, and Fashion Nova, have proven to be vigorous competition for brick and mortars worldwide. According to eMarketer and Accenture, e-commerce is projected to account for $526 billion in sales this year. 19.6 percent of apparel and accessories will be purchased online.

Is this only affecting one industry?

The e-commerce epidemic is affecting more than just the retail industry. Health, food, and beverage are also slipping into the online hole. This year, it is projected that 6.8 percent of online sales will be under the health industry’s umbrella, and 2.8 percent under food and beverage. These aren’t scary numbers as of yet, but then again, the clothing and accessory industry didn’t see this coming in the nineties.


All in all, this isn’t the end for these businesses or industries. The key to keeping up will be staying on top of the e-commerce trend. What is possible is a time where interpersonal skills decline due to increased interaction with technology and a decline in customer service. Or, we could be in a time where our society will blend to find a happy, helpful medium.

Bernie Levi, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys. Bernie doesn’t care whether it is online or offline. She just loves to shop.