In 2018, while online shopping will grow bigger, smart brick-and-mortar retailers will grow stronger.

The dramatic decline of shopping malls is often blamed on the rise of online shopping. There is no doubt about it. Digital retail has taken a big bite out of brick-and-mortar shopping, especially for malls.

However, we identified other more powerful underlying trends that contributed to the death of many malls that the media and retail industry either can’t see, won’t admit to or are afraid to, because they fear losing advertisers. And, it’s their lack of future vision that blinds them to the new “Brick-and-Mortar Bounce” trend.

For decades, Gerald Celente wrote about it. In his book, Trends 2000 in 1996, he predicted the “Pall on the Malls,” noting there was a gross overdevelopment of malls and shopping centers.

Simultaneously, America’s once thriving middle class was shrinking, thus there was a declining population of enough people with enough money to “shop until we drop.”

During the hey-day of retail growth, the already retail Bigs became retail Giants through mergers and acquisitions. Burdened with massive debt and focused on building their bottom line, they built a homogenous retail landscape based on sterile data-driven corporate models of shopping patterns and buying habits that replaced original, unique product development.

Rather than providing consumers with diverse and original products that can only be designed with creative artistic freedom, they focused on a one-size-fits-all corporate strategy.

Today, sameness rules. Been to a mall lately? If you’ve been to one, essentially, you’ve been to them all.

And have you been to one of Walmart’s 11,700 retail stores? Not only is each the same, long forgotten are the tens of thousands of small, unique and community-minded brick and mortar mom-and-pops the Walmart clan killed.

The Bigs have taken the joy out of shopping, and inventive, creative Brick and Mortar OnTrendpreneurs® – especially those in “Organic Growth Cities” – now have the wide open field of opportunity to fill the product, service, customer experience shopping gaps they’ve left behind.

No, brick-and-mortar isn’t dead. Even the online giants Amazon and Alibaba are buying them up.

TREND FORECAST: Brick-and-mortar businesses, emphasizing quality and value delivered with a human touch, will grow stronger in 2018 and own a bigger piece of the retail market-share pie.

While struggling retail chains close brick-and-mortar stores at a record pace, mom-and-pop businesses on Main Street, and in particular in “Organic Growth Cities,” will thrive.

The Bigs killed the style in shopping. New generations of consumers, especially millennials, crave a genuine shopping experience that speaks to them and the OnTrendpreneurs® that hear what they want and develop the business models to meet their needs will thrive. 

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