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As Retailers Race to Close Stores,
a Web Startup is Opening Them
Online Sneaker Brand to Open at Least 10 Locations, Signing Short-Term Leases
 
Major Constructs
Physical Shops/ Buyers  Complement Online Stores/ Buyers. 1
Increasing Confidence Among Buyers on the Existence of the Shop. 1
Direct Contact and Engagement With Customers. 2
Inspection and Testing of Items. 2
Ease of Closure and Abandonment 3
Most Shoppers Have Both the Identity of Being Physical and Online Shoppers. 3
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As Retailers Race to Close Stores,
a Web Startup is Opening Them
Online Sneaker Brand to Open at Least 10 Locations, Signing Short-Term Leases

It is rather strange why a business will decide to open ‘brick and mortar’ stores while many businesses are opening online shops. With the increase in the penetration of technology and increased knowledge in IT and its importance to businesses, it expected that businesses will focus more on online shopping. The move by Greats to open 10 “brick and mortar’ stores is not an indication of the company’s failure to adopt to the changes in the market. In fact, it shows that the company understands the importance of its online and offline buyers. Moreover, the physical shops mainly complement the online shops and do not compete with them. Actually, whether a customer buys his/ her shoes online or from the physical shops, Greats is the final recipient of the net incomes. For example, Amazon has been opening physical stores that complement its online business. According to Jesdanun (2017), the company’s physical stores can in fact lead to more sales for the business.

Increasing Confidence Among Buyers on the Existence of the Shop

The importance of opening a “brick and mortar’ shop for Greats is that it will enable the business to add more value to its clients by increasing their confidence on the existence of the shop and enabling it to have contacts with these buyers. The presence of a physical shop will enable most of the company’s clients, especially those who are skeptical about online shopping, to be confident of the existence of the business. Despite the increased adoption of online shopping, online shopping still remains risky due to the ability of individual to be anonymous or to disguise their identity (Furness). As a result, it is very difficult for a person to be sure of the source of their online purchases or whether these items will be delivered to them. In addition, most shoppers may find it difficult to return damaged or low quality online purchases. Therefore, the existence of a physical shop is important for increasing the confidence of buyers (Zhang 25-27).

Direct Contact and Engagement With Customers

The physical shop also has the advantage of enabling Greats to have direct contact and engagement with the customer (Hunt 24). Such a contact is important in enabling the business to understand the customer’s needs, which in turn enables the business to implement appropriate policies to meet this demands. Although online businesses have sections where buyers can leave their feedback, in most cases, shoppers do not comment on their experience (Hollander 32-33). In addition, some expressions are not verbal and entail physical expressions such as a smile or a sneer, which can be used by the company to evaluate the client’s perception concerning certain products. In this regard, although offline shoppers may not necessarily bring more sales to the company, they may be a great source of information on the market changes, which the company can use to increase its sales.

Inspection and Testing of Items

Similar to online shopper, physical shopper can enable the business to earn enormous profits. An online shop has the benefit of easily getting walk-in clients. In addition, some people feel more content on the product they are buying when they physically inspect it or test it (Hollander 32-33). In this case, the Greats’ physical shop will enable it to attract these type of clients. In the determination of the most valuable customers, what really matters is the profit that each group of customers brings to the company. In this case, physical shoppers are as valuable to Greats as online shoppers since they both lead to more profits for the company.

Ease of Closure and Abandonment

Greats desire to only have small physical stores that are leased for short periods is an indication of the company’s knowledge of their ability to complement its online business. Generally, this trend of having a small physical shop is similar to that of major retailers downsizing their physical businesses and increasing their online retail businesses. In addition, small shops are easy to close when they are underperforming. In fact, the physical shops may not always succeed in some locations; therefore, short leases will enable the business to easily relocate to new areas. Taylor (2016) notes that although Walmart anticipates the online shops to complement its physical stores, the online shops appear too competitive and may make the company to close some of its physical stores. The small physical shop serves all the needs of a physical store, which are increasing confidence and enabling the business to have physical contact with the customer at a low cost. Equally important, the physical store enable the business to minimize its logistics cost. These stores can be used as delivery points for the company’s products. They can also be used as packaging points for urgent purchases.

Most Shoppers Have Both the Identity of Being Physical and Online Shoppers

Equally, online shoppers are valuable to the company. It is important to remember that online shoppers are still physical shoppers who decide to purchase their items online. Therefore, there is no clear boundary that distinguishes an online buyer from a physical buyer. In fact, these buyers must first be convinced of the physical presence of the item, its quality, and the ability of the company to deliver the ordered item as per the local purchase order. In light of this, the company must offer high quality services to its online shoppers so that it can retain these buyers (Bagozzi 32-39). It must be aware that just like in physical shops, these buyers can migrate to more competitive sellers. Due to the increase in online shopping, the appeal for physical shopping has reduced. In this case, the Greats must be ready to ensure that its online shopping platform is competitive enough so that it can attract these kind of buyers. According to Taylor (2016), Walmart Supermarket has realized that the growth in its physical retail business is significantly less than that of its online business.
Since 2015, Amazon has made similar changes in its business by introducing physical stores to its business. These stores are more sophisticated than traditional shops since they have digitalized payment systems. On the overall, however, they are still physical stores despite their incorporation of technology. According to the company, these stores complement its online business and enable it to provide more value to its customers.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Work Cited
Bagozzi, Richard. “Marketing as Exchange.” Journal of Marketing, vol. 39, no. 4, 2015, pp. 32-39.
Furness, Hannah. Anonymity of Internet to Blame for Rise of Online Trolls. 2013. Available from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/10242703/Anonymity-of-internet-to-blame-for-rise-of-online-trolls.html
Hollander, Stanley. “Periodization in Marketing History.” Journal of Macro-marketing, vol. 25, no. 1, 2015, pp. 32-41.
Hunt, Shelby. “The Nature and Scope of Marketing.” Journal of Marketing, vol. 40, no. 3, 2014, pp. 17-28.
Jesdanun. Anick. “5 Reasons Amazon is Experimenting With Physical Stores.” The Denver Post. 2017. Available from http://www.denverpost.com/2017/04/30/amazon-experimenting-physical-stores/
Taylor, Kate. Walmart Just Signaled a Terrifying New Reality for American Retail. Business Insider. Available from http://www.businessinsider.com/walmarts-struggles-signal-retail-shift-2016-2
Zhang, Dongli. “The Revival of Vertical Integration: Strategic Choice and Performance    Influences”. Journal of Management and Strategy, vol. 4, no. 1, 2013, pp. 23-31.