Due to what has been coined as The Amazon Effect, 61 year old electronic retail behemoth H.H. Gregg is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week. After announcing last week the closing 40% of it's retail locations (88 mega-stores) and 3 distribution centers for profitability restructuring purposes, sources close to the matter said that the filing is days away.
As Nasdaq outlined this morning, HHGregg's 24% sales plunge in the holiday quarter, compared to Amazon’s 22% rise, is yet another indicator of how Amazon's multi-channel eCommerce strategy fits perfectly into consumers' needs and spending habits.
This has especially proven true in the area of shipping , where Amazon has turned what once was a long, tedious experience into a "click, buy and at your door" delightful whirlwind.
More importantly, this eCommerce uptick is in no way exclusive to Amazon, who is seen as a key indicator in the industry. eCommerce websites of all shapes and sizes have tremendously improved the customer experience. There is absolutely no sign that the eCommerce industry is even close to slowing down. As the brick and mortars continue to clunk along, while also balancing low, competitive profits margins, customers will continue choosing options that generally take less time and effort while also being provided a smooth, personalized digital experience. And when that service includes swift delivery to your home, it's harder to convince customers to jump in their cars and hunt down a parking spot at the suburban mall or on Main Street. But if this retail/eTail trend continues, finding that parking spot won't be too difficult.