The Real Deal New York

Retail shifts mean the end of the big-box era

March 30, 2012 06:00PM

America’s love for the big-box store is waning, Bloomberg News reported. These days, even brands like Target, Wal-Mart and Best Buy are focusing on smaller stores. “We’re undergoing a seismic shift,” Natalie Berg, an analyst with Planet Retail in London, told Bloomberg News. “People are still cutting back. People are buying more products online so there is a real case for downsizing stores.”

Best Buy is shifting its focus to what it calls its “mobile stores,” hoping to have 800 by 2016, up from 305 now, and it will close 100 of its larger stores next year.

Other, larger demographic factors are also contributing to the slow-down in demand for big-box retail stores. For instance, babyboomers no longer have kids at home using up goods but their kids don’t yet have their own kids. And the result is less demand overall. [Bloomberg News]