Recently Staples Inc. reported that it would be closing 12% of its stores meaning a loss of nearly 225 stores in Canada & the United States. It’s CEO stated that with the increase of online shopping, they wouldn’t need as many stores. This same issue has plagued many retailers and put many people out of work.
Earlier this year, Indigo Books closed down their location at the Runnymede Theatre and Heather Reisman, the company’s CEO said,”… that many customers browse in-store, only to go home to purchase the items they want online at the cheapest possible price.” Indigo also recently closed down their location at Richmond & John. I think this is the sad fate of many of our retailers as online shopping continues to grow. Although online shopping is not the only reason for the closures impacting many retailers, it is a part of the problem. I’ve always seen retailers like Indigo not only as great places to shop but great places for residents in communities to gather. I remember noticing this past Christmas during the blackouts, many families without power in Indigo stores, reading books and enjoying each other’s company. With the closing of these stores, where will people gather?
With many stores closing, we will begin to lose our streetscape which is what makes our neighborhoods great. When most people purchase a home the first thing they mention is the need to be close to shops, restaurants, & cafes. The retailers provide a vibrancy that every neighbourhood needs. If more and more of these retailers close their doors, our neighbourhoods won’t seem as attractive and it will affect the values of our homes.
In addition to losing our streetscape, the loss of jobs from these closures will affect many in our communities. Remember all of the part-time jobs you held in highschool & university? Many of our youth are directly impacted by the closing of these retailers. It’s ironic that young people who are most likely to shop online are the ones most directly affected by the lack of jobs.
Many of my friends consider me slow to adapt to new technologies but sometimes I think we need to consider their future impact. So the next time you shop online, consider shopping at one of your local retailers to help ensure the vibrancy of your neighbourhood and your property values.