big box store

A name for the many national franchise stores in American strip malls and on highway exits that, for the most part, all look alike and carry similar products. They are held largely responsible for the demise of the sole proprietorship.

Historical perspective: Don't blame all of the retail industry’s woes on Amazon, said Bloomberg.com in 2017. While there’s little doubt the internet giant has disrupted brick-and-mortar chains, a bigger problem is that American stores are simply too big, boring, and expensive. America’s 7.3 square feet of retail space per capita is the most of any nation’s; compare that with 1.7 square feet per capita in Japan and France. The number of U.S. shopping centers has actually grown by more than 23 percent since 1995, while the population has grown by less than 14 percent. This retail construction boom was woefully out of step with consumer tastes. Sport shopping, retail therapy, and conspicuous consumption offer less prestige today than they did in the 1990s. Today’s consumers want experiences more than just stuff. A few savvy retailers have learned this lesson. Consider the Apple Store, which moves more goods at retail than any other store in the world, some $5,500 in annual sales per square foot. The same iPhones and iPads can be purchased at Best Buy, or even on Amazon, but more than 1 million visitors still trek to Apple Stores worldwide every day. We’re seeing a generational realignment in how consumers spend money. The bad news for retailers is that we are probably closer to the beginning of that transition than the end. - The Week

NetLingo Classification: Online Jargon

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