Is the Era of the Big-Box Ending?

Marina Strauss reports on the changing retail landscape, in which retailers such as Wal-Mart and Staples are counting on smaller stores to draw customers. As McMansions lose their luster, are over-sized retailers the next victim of changing tastes?
February 27, 2012, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Strauss describes a shift by big-box retailers resulting from sluggish sales, increasing competition from online retailers, and a customer that wants to drive less and have a more personalized experience.

According to Strauss, "Shifting shopping patterns, cautious consumers, higher gas prices and fewer shopping trips are prompting retailers to reconsider adding more big boxes.

"The big-box store 'is not the right concept for the future,' Robert Dutton, chief executive officer of Rona, said on an analyst conference call, signalling what he said was a consensus among CEOs of major home improvement retailers whom he met with recently. 'So that is the reason why we don't expect to build [more] big box stores. Now the customers demand something different.'"

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Published on Thursday, February 23, 2012 in The Globe and Mail
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