In this four-part series, we’re taking you on a deep dive of today’s brand manufacturers top challenges to provide clarity on the current market environment and empower you to adapt faster.

The Current State of Retail

An unprecedented number of stores shut their doors last year, and 2018 is shaping up to be equally grim for traditional retailers. in 2017, we saw 9,000 retail closings, and the trend continues into 2018. More than 90 million square feet of retail space is already set to shutter in 2018 — a number that will likely grow to surpass the record-breaking 105 million square feet that closed in 2017.

Here are just a few of the major retailers who have filed for bankruptcy, liquidated, closed stores or plan to in the near future. (You can view a full list of the expected upcoming closures right here).

Why Are Traditional Retailers Shutting Down?

Retailers are failing to meet the evolving omni-channel preferences of their consumers. As the next generation’s purchasing power grows, it’s becoming clear that retailers’ legacy approach to selling products is no match for the digitally native path of their competitors. Today’s online shoppers can easily compare and purchase a wide array of products in real-time, a key differentiator that used to belong to retailers alone.

What Does This Mean for Brand Manufacturers?

The market is changing, and retailers are failing to adapt fast enough. Reliance on these disappearing distribution channels can be a death sentence for brands. In response, many are choosing to design, develop, and sell their products directly to consumers online. This modern approach to selling products represents an incredible opportunity for brand manufacturers. As legacy brands close their doors, young companies (or any brand willing to adapt their sales strategies) have a unique opportunity to rise to the top.

The brands that will win in this apocalyptic environment are the ones who choose to stay agile, embrace modern consumers’ needs, build a strong eCommerce engine, and leverage valuable consumer data to fuel brand innovation and growth. If you’re looking for a dedicated eCommerce partner to help you navigate this uncharted territory, our team is here to help. Get in touch today to learn more about the opportunity of selling direct to consumer.

Be sure to stay tuned for part two of this four-part series where we will explore how brand manufacturers can compete with digitally native sellers.