In Line or Online?
Dr. Susan Sasiadek
August 12, 2011
In Line or Online?
Shopping is a pastime for some and a necessity for others. Some people can spend hours in their favorite stores or malls merely browsing the windows and racks and sometimes do not purchase a thing. For some people, shopping is therapeutic, allowing them to soak their troubles in malls and department stores with a seemingly endless credit limit. For other people, going to the store is a task in which they never wish to participate. People have their reasons to love and hate shopping. Stores use the love of shopping to their advantage, supplying consumers with ...view middle of the document...
Kmart was the store mentioned previously. Kmart stores were everywhere and offered decent pricing compared to their stronger competitor Target but not to their strongest competitor Wal-Mart. Once Wal-Mart began capitalizing on commercial space and introducing their low price strategy to the consumers, the consumers felt as if they were silly going to other stores when they can pay a cheaper amount. Eventually, Wal-Mart began utilizing their physical stores and rebuilding them, turning them into Wal-Mart Super Centers, a one-stop shop for groceries, household items, and even oil changes. Wal-Mart’s sudden success was Kmart’s sudden decline. Unable to compete with Wal-Mart and the countless places that they built, Kmart began shutting down hundreds of their stores and focusing on restructuring.
Looking back 20 years ago, Kmart would have most likely been unable to compete period and would have most likely ended up closing down permanently. Fortunately, consumers have found the way of the internet and ecommerce shopping has shown great strides and has helped companies, such as Kmart, rejuvenate their earnings potential and collect on some of the loss. Kmart is a great example because of the hundreds of stores that were shut down. While the consumers were paying lower prices at Wal-Mart, they still enjoyed the items offered by Kmart. Being able to shop at Kmart from the comfort of the consumer’s home proved worthwhile. Not only did it make consumers happy, but also it kept Kmart’s numbers afloat while maintaining the closure of the stores.
Companies are benefitting greatly from the use of online space. Nearly every company offers some sort of shopping online feature and even go so far as to offer separate promotions than their place establishments. Black Friday, the most popular shopping day of the year in the United States, gives consumers incredible savings and unlimited reasons to enter certain establishments. Recently, though, companies are capitalizing on the consumer’s desire for savings and are holding Black Friday sales promotions through their electronic ordering site. Additionally, these companies have rallied together in a sense to form Cyber Monday, the online equivalent to Black Friday. Kmart is no exception to this rule, making a remarkable comeback in the retail industry. While the children may not be able to ride the carousel outside or eat a hot dog at their eatery, consumers are still able to take advantage of the products they offered and affordable prices. Consumers want to feel comfortable when they shop as well, which was noted by Kmart when doing some of the closings, stating that “the closings do not address the real barriers that keep shoppers from Kmart: dingy stores, poor service and a weak distribution system that prevents many stores from carrying advertised products” (Fasig, 2003). In an online environment, if the place is dingy, that is the consumer’s fault....