In an age when the word “Amazon” no longer merely refers to an online retailer, but is more frequently used as if it was an economic theory (“the Amazon effect”), the concept of a 2-3 week ship window seems nearly archaic, an unfathomable inconvenience experienced by people of generations past. With free two-day shipping, overnight delivery, and even 1-hour windows available, why would we have any reason to wait more than 48 hours for a new purchase to arrive at our doorstep? Faster is always better, right?
Elizabeth Suzann would beg to differ.
If you’ve been paying any attention to the retail environment, you know it isn’t pretty out there. The retailers that were once cornerstones of our beloved shopping malls back in their heyday are reporting dismal results, day after day. In April, Macy’s reported their profit was down 40%. In May, Nordstrom posted a profit of $46 million, down from $128 million a year earlier. Due to sales declines, Gap shares have tumbled 45% over the last year. Even fast fashion hasn’t escaped: Uniqlo advised that operating profit was down 46.4% for the 9-month period ending in May, Forever 21 is closing some of its larger locations, and H&M reported growth of just 5% despite having opened an additional 438 stores within the past year.
Ouch. Continue reading