One of the biggest retail buying group in Finland, Kesko just announced a shock news.
In the next two years, they will shut down 10 of Anttila retail stores. Because of growth in online stores and e-commerce the competitive situation has adversely affected the profitability at Anttila retail stores.
This news got me thinking about consumer behavior. Anttila is one of the oldest retail department store brands in Finland, it was established in 1950 so actually its older than my parents and I have many many shopping experience about buying goods in Anttila. The brand is so strong the first thing that came to mind was “I can find almost anything I need from there” But when I went there last time? I can’t even remember. When I did even went to the retail shop? Ok, last week to buy food. I noticed that my purchasing behavior has changed. I don’t think anymore where I can get the goods, if its something that I can’t get it from grocery, I will automatically go to Google not Anttila or any retail stores. If I just want to shop for fun I will go directly to the shopping centers.
The new slogan of BestBuy electronic is “Experience the Ultimate Showroom” Unofficially it means “Try it out before buying it on Amazon” the situation of BestBuy is directly comparable to Anttila, they both provide a buying experience that online-store cant but still its not enough for consumers. What is the purpose of retail stores today? I would like to buy from retail stores, because I can touch and feel the products before I buy it, but its not necessary. Obviously “You can touch and feel the product” its not the way to get consumers to buy from retail stores, the most important thing for me is how easily I can get the products but what else the consumers want ? Nobody can certainly answer that question in general. Now is the right time for retail stores to come up with good reasons why consumers should buy goods from retail stores, the winner will be one who can offer something totally new and more to attract consumers.
If as strong a brand as Anttila have to shut down dozens of stores because of e-commerce, what is the future of retail stores in general? Do we have any retail stores or shopping centers 10 years from now?