Men are twisting the knife that's already killing shopping malls
A new study from Business Insider Intelligence confirms that men are doing a lot of shopping online.
So men are thereby helping drive malls into the ground, which are already struggling on multiple counts.
"When it comes to e-commerce, men drive nearly as much overall spending online in the US as women. The conventional wisdom is that women drive shopping trends, since they control up to 80% to 85% of household spending," BI Intelligence reports.
And it turns out, more men than women would prefer to never have to leave their houses to shop - especially these guys.
The report noted that 40% of men ages 18-to-34 "would ideally buy everything online." Women, on the other hand, seem to still care for traditional in-store shopping experiences at times with only only 33% of women agreeing they feel the same.
The report notes that more men, in general, make purchases on their phone than women do, too.
And the trend continues for teens. According to the report, male teens shop online more than female teens - 86% of male teens said they shopped online, whereas 76% of teen girls said they did.
For men, e-commerce is an easy solution. But in particular, e-commerce can permit people to buy things (like technology - which consumers want more than clothes anyway) without having to go into a store.
Interestingly enough, Sears chairman Eddie Lampert wrote a letter lambasting tech companies like Uber, Amazon, and Tesla for sending Sears into its downward spiral.
"Companies like Amazon were able to grow rapidly without having to collect sales tax, while traditional retail companies had the dual disadvantages of having to report profits and to collect sales tax from their customers," Lampert wrote. "The consequence? We are now seeing more and more retail stores shut down."
(Look no further than eerie photos of abandoned Sears stores for proof.)
To add insult to injury, men are shopping more on sites like Amazon than their female counterparts, according to BI Intelligence's data. The report notes that women often shop on "specialized and fashion-conscious sites." Additionally, more men used auction sites such as eBay (43% of men ages 18-34 said they used those sites; only 31% of women said that.)
Regardless of gender, however, a growing number of people, driven by millennials, engage in e-commerce. They made made up 46.6% of people surveyed who used their phones to make purchases. The shift is hurting malls that, unlike stores that can thrive on a direct-to-consumer basis, depend on foot traffic.
All of this comes on top of how malls are already clinging to life support; Fortune reported last year, citing Green Street Advisors, that approximately 300 malls would shutter over the course of ten years.
One reason for this decline is that mall anchor stores, like Nordstrom and Macy's, have been struggling. Nordstrom, with its rapidly growing off-price Rack store and its plan to be more promotional to rid itself of excess inventory, and Macy's, with its newly launched off-price Backstage, have been tarnishing their reputations as full-price retailers. And photos of abandoned Sears tell a very clear story: consumers don't want to shop there.
Meanwhile, Nordstrom recently reported that its online off-price store Nordstrom Rack's Haute Look, saw a 47% spike in sales in fiscal 2015, which signals that consumers don't want to pay full price, and that they want to shop online, not at malls.
Nordstrom's CFO Michael Koppel recently expressed that there can be additional expenses as the company attempts to gain more of the online retail market space.
"This business model has a high variable cost structure driven by fulfillment and marketing costs in addition to ongoing technology investments. With our increased investments to gain market share along with the changing business model, expenses in recent years have grown faster than sales," Koppel said in an earnings call.
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