Urban planner Larisa Ortiz Pu-Folkes ’97 explores the tactics downtown shops and commercial areas are employing to combat the threat of on-line shopping. She suggests convenience, a unique experience, and renovations to keep downtown alive.
“It should come as no surprise that we continue to see the rapid growth of on-line shopping. Virtual and mobile sales now account for 10% of all sales, and experts suggest that number will grow to 20% before long. So how do downtown and neighborhood commercial districts compete? Rest assured, the retail industry is not taking the threat of on-line shopping lightly. There are a few things that we can learn from how the retail industry is responding to the changing nature of consumer shopping habits…
“Many retailers reported a lackluster holiday season, but Macy’s was not among them [‘Macy’s shows it can make big bucks online’, Crain’s New York, 1/13]. Admittedly, Macy’s is closing downtown department stores in under performing markets. On the flip side, the storied department store has figured out a way to turn the threat of online shopping into an opportunity. This year alone the department store has seen a 52% increase in online sales.”
Image: via Larisa Ortiz Associates.
- Larisa Ortiz Pu-Folkes ’97: ‘Aspirational staging of vacant space’
- How to pronounce Sonia Sotomayor’s name
- Commercial District Advisor blog
- Larisa Ortiz Associates
- Larisa Ortiz Pu-Folkes on LinkedIn