Report: Small Retailers Thriving as Big Box Retailers Take a Hit

Staff Report

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Retail apocalypse? Not so much, according to newly released data from Fit Small Business, an online publication serving small business owners. 

Yes, the big box retailers took a beating, but a closer look at the industry's health reveals smaller and local retailers are thriving even in the wake of online shopping.

"We took publicly available data from heavyweight sources such as Moody's, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and retail organizations, and analyzed it. The results were surprising, to say the least," says David Waring, Editor-in-chief, Fit Small Business. "This is the most comprehensive and in-depth look into the retail sector right now."

A Tale of Two Retailers: Small Versus Big Box

Fit Small Business's analysis showed that big box stores are responsible for approximately half of the retail liquidations.  Payless Shoes, RadioShack, and The Limited lead the pack of big box retail outlets closing.

On the flip side, small and local businesses are flourishing, typically, at the expense of big box stores. 

Key Findings:

  • The retail industry is going through a metamorphosis – contrary to the common perception that retail stores are a dying breed, the analysis shows that the so-called "apocalypse" only applies to large retailers.  

  • Small and local retailers that take advantage of in-store, online and experiential selling are thriving – smaller, more nimble businesses, can cater to shoppers on a personal scale, including unique and fast-changing collections, fresh products, personalized services, in-store access, pickup, and local delivery convenience are just some of the reasons this sets them apart from the bigger retailers.

  • Shoppers want the small-seller experience – shoppers want to save on name brands, yet they're willing to pay for personalized and specialized service.