No Future To Speak Of

A story on the CBC website this morning has me riled up, more so before they edited the title of the piece.

The original “Future Shop lost out to lazy, entitled online shoppers”, was oddly offensive to consumers, the current title “Future Shop stores lost out to fulfilled online shoppers”, is mildly offensive really only to the idea of a quality headline.

Read the piece here.

My complaint about this article boils down to one thing, poor, uninformed journalism. Future Shop is gone, the internet and laziness are not to blame.

Future Shop is no more for reasons many businesses go under; high overhead, poor customer service, competition ( from themselves oddly, in the form of corporate parent Best Buy and stores often within sight of each other ), poor vision, predatory sales people and a general lack of focus.

On a personal note, I’d say fuck Future Shop for their uninformed, pushy sales people, the banality of their store designs and the endless shelves of middle of the road merchandise. Best Buy will take that mantle of mediocrity and run with it…at least for a time ( have you seen their financials?!? Yowza! ).

The real shame in this CBC piece is that we’re still ignorant as to why these things happen and worse, are so quick to blame the dark, scary internet and scourge of free content, it’s “plethora of online written reviews, videos, and forums. Now, shoppers can learn everything on the internet and then buy their electronics anywhere — from Amazon to Walmart.

Are some sectors of retail in trouble? Yes they are.

Are we going to see more chains and more stores shutting down. You bet your ass.

Is it because of the internet? No it is not. And it most certainly isn’t because we as consumers are lazy and entitled…at least not all the time. ☺

If retail were dead, the physical Apple Stores wouldn’t continue to set sales records across the globe. Fashion startups like Frank & Oak and Warby Parker wouldn’t be wasting their time and VC backing by opening physical stores to complete their channel strategy and Amazon wouldn’t be looking at something as crazy as say buying the US Postal Service ( crazy right, but don’t think it impossible ), in order to minimize exposure when it comes to multi-channel retail, a “click and collect” future and their own pure play limitations….and you know, to give them a physical presence.

No, to blame the internet and call consumers lazy is to ignore the simple fact that the internet has made us better informed, savvier and cost-conscious consumers in a way that allows us to not fall prey to the marketing whims of big retail.

As the next evolution of information networks and e-commerce platforms arrive and it’s not just the reviews of strangers we use to better inform purchases, but those of our close social connections ( a stranger telling us a camera is decent is interesting, a trusted photographer friend saying the same is invaluable ), expect another round of sub-par organizations to say goodbye and you know, we’ll be better off for it, despite what some reporters at the cbc have to say about it.

Again the article I’m referencing can be found here.

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