TAMPA, Fla. - Toys R US kids never wanted to grow up, right? But they did grow out of the model that made the franchise so successful.
"A lot of the big box stores that used to be anchor stores at malls are bailing," said USF Marketing Professor David Ortinau.
For why that is Ortinau asks his students regularly what they want in today’s retail environment.
"They like to go to places, and they use this term where they perceive it being 'cool' as the experience, if it’s not cool they get bored quickly and move on," said Ortinau.
Convenience and technology are also big drivers, which explains the boom in online shopping. But what about Winn Dixie? The grocery chain is closing it’s doors at all but one location in Tampa.
"The old types of sales associates within a brick and mortar is maybe going by the wayside," said Ortinau.
However, it is not all terrible news. Professor Ortinau sees social media providing ample job opportunities in the next ten years.
And what will fill the space these brick and mortars leave behind?
A complicated answer.
The areas could be broken down for several smaller retailers. Target is opening smaller stores later this year. Online retail giants like Amazon could buy those spaces.
But it is adapt or die in the retail world. Sadly not everyone is going to change for the better.
"Costs keep going up and they’re not doing a good job of finding new revenue streams," said Ortinau.