Helm and colleagues’ research indicates that consumers still value the experience of visiting physical stores. The team found via “a content analysis of reader comments [US consumers] in response to articles featuring reports on large-scale store closures, and structured online consumer interviews. . . . many consumers lamenting the disappearance of physical retailers. Most expect negative consequences for themselves and society. However, many consumers also describe physical retailers as often unable to deliver on basic retail functions, and many are accepting of a future with very few physical stores."
Sabrina Helm, Soo Hyun, Kim Silvia, and Van Piper. “Navigating the ‘Retail Apocalypse’: A Framework of Consumer Evaluations of the New Retail Landscape.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2018.09.015