business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal has a story about how "commercial square footage of retail food space per capita last year set a record, with 4.15 square feet of food retail per person, according to CoStar Group, a commercial real-estate firm, nearly 30 times the amount of space allocated to groceries at major chains in 1950."

The story describes this as leaving the country "piled up with grocery shelves as consumers are shifting from big weekly shopping trips to more snacking and to-go meals. The mismatch has flattened retail sales and leaves the industry vulnerable to a wave of closures that some executives, bankers and industry experts think is coming soon."

There are a lot of moving pieces in this economic construct. There are not just more food stores, but also more stores selling food. The marketplace isn't just saturated, but also dealing with consolidation on both the retail and supplier sides. And, of course, there is the online competition - one analyst refers to it as an 'Amazocalypse' - which means that shoppers have other alternatives, which only heightens the level of competition fighting over the consumer dollar.
KC's View:
At the risk of repeating myself, this story directly references the point I was trying to make above in the morning's Eye-Opener...

It is up to bricks-and-mortar retailers to make sure that their stores are compelling, experiential, relevant and resonant, reflective of a core value proposition that people can't find elsewhere.

In a time of retail clutter, it is incredibly important to exploit every possible way to cut through it.