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Retailers struggle to compete with the convenience of online shopping

More chains shuttering stores at start of new year
Posted at 5:45 PM, Jan 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 17:59:47-05

CLEVELAND — With a few swipes, the laundry detergent you just ran out of could be at your door in just two hours.

That convenience from the comfort of your home continues to chip away at grocery store chains.

Their inability to compete in a changing market has prompted more of them to close up shop.

However, when it comes to keeping her kitchen stocked, Danielle Buchholzer still likes to leave her house.

"I don't have a plan or a list when I come. I don't want someone grocery shopping for me online or anything like that, I want to see what I am getting," said Buchholzer.

With Amazon's two-hour delivery now just a swipe away, the grocery game is intensifying and claiming more victims.

Lucky's Market is pulling the plug on 32 of its 39 stores. The one on the Cleveland-Lakewood border is among the few that will remain open.

But retail industry analyst Kevin Coupe told News 5 that time will tell if the location can weather the storm.

"There are tons of competitors, Amazon is squeezing people from every direction," Coupe said.

For brick and mortar stores to succeed, Coupe said they must create an experience you can't find online.

He used the Dorothy Lane Market and its three locations in Dayton as an example.

"Amazing in terms of fresh food, amazing in terms of food service and creating a food-centric atmosphere in the store that brings people in because it's a compelling shopping experience," said Coupe.

That's what Danielle said she gets when she stops by Lucky's.

"You get to drink while you shop. They have two slices and a beer for $5. Can you get any better than that," said Buchholzer.

Despite the growing popularity of getting groceries online, Buchholzer hopes more consumers will continue visiting their neighborhood stores before more of them fall victim to the trend.

"Appreciate what they have right here," said Buchholzer.

2020 is off to a rocky start for many retailers, and Coupe expects it to last through the year.

He said we should expect to see more shuttered storefronts, but that doesn't mean retail is dead. It's just contracting as companies try to continue to compete with online shopping.

"There will always be retailers who succeed and it's not just going to be Amazon, but it's going to be the ones who have figured out how to compete with Amazon," said Coupe.

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