Mall of America
Credit: Bill Pugliano / Stringer - Getty Images

How much longer will you be able to shop at your favorite store? Based on recent economic news being able to see, touch, or smell your favorite items are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

More and more people are doing their shopping in their jammies on flickering computer screens.

You can purchase almost anything online with free shipping and have it droned to your specific location. Most major grocery stores will do the shopping for you and deliver it right to your front door.

Even McDonald’s is experimenting with home delivery.

Big Boxes Stores Are Bailing

In case you haven’t noticed the site where K-Mart used to stand is now a vacant lot. Malls across the country are losing their anchor stores and hemorrhaging dollars and becoming shopping graveyards.

Photographer Seph Lawless has documented abandoned and forgotten malls across the US. His photos tell the story of the death of retail as we used to know it.

In all more than 3,500 retailers are expected to close their doors in the next few months.

Here’s a partial list of planned store closings:

  • Payless – 1,000
  • Radio Shack – 552 (Probably not the Bozeman location)
  • J.C. Penny – 138 (Helena & Sidney – Not Bozeman)
  • K-Mart – 108 (To quote the Eagles – Already Gone)
  • Staples & CVS – 100 Each – (No info from Staples)
  • Macy’s – 68 – (Bozeman not on closing list)
  • Abercrombie & Fitch – 60
  • Sears – 42 (Not the Bozeman Location)

To put those number in perspective, if each of the 3,500 stores employed just ten people that would put almost the entire (35,000) population of Bozeman out of work.

Most of those listed have many more than 10 employees.

Some Final Thoughts

If all this is happening why isn’t the economy worse? One reason is that people haven’t stopped shopping or buying. They’re just doing it differently.

Big Box stores have been slow to recognize that’s it’s way easier for the shopper to open a laptop than it is to get in the car, find a park, navigate the show floor and come away with a purchase costing 15 to 20 percent more with a smile on their faces.

You do the math. Where and how to do you shop? Are there things you’re comfortable ordering online without having to see or touch the items before they arrive?

For the moment, other than K-Mart, Bozeman has managed to dodge the store closing bullet. But for how much longer?

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