There are lots of solid reasons Amazon.com, Alibaba and other big online retailers are investing in physical stores, notes a Bloomberg report. For a start, people simply like shopping in stores and are far more likely to make a spontaneous purchase if they walk into one than they might while visiting a retailer’s website. In the U.S. 70 percent of Millennials — now the biggest consumer group — prefer stores to web shopping, the article says. A survey cited in the news report found that 69 percent of those who entered a store to pick up an item they had ordered online took that opportunity to make an additional purchase. Moreover, although millions of people have internet access in China and elsewhere, millions of others do not.
Little wonder, then, that such online giants as Amazon (which last year bought Whole Foods) and Alibaba (which acquired a department store chain, 17 malls and a percentage of a hypermarket chain) are scrambling to invest in physical stores.
By Edmund Mander