Did the Supreme Court End the 'Retail Apocalypse'?

The decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair certainly didn't hurt traditional retailers, but they're still going to have to help themselves in the face of competition from online retail.

1 minute read

June 24, 2018, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

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Mark Fischer / flickr

Erika Morphy reports on the consequences of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case South Dakota v. Wayfair, which "ruled that US states may impose sales taxes on Internet businesses, even if they don’t have physical locations in those states."

Some physical retailers are hoping the decision mitigates the effects of the "retail apocalypse" crippling malls and ground floor retail around the country. Morphy speaks with industry experts to get their sense of the benefit of the Supreme Court decision to physical retailers, and finds more reason for caution. Amazon, which sells more online in the United States than the next nine competitors combined, already charges a sales tax in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Instead of counting on this Supreme Court decision to bail out the industry, Morphy suggests savvy developers are looking to new kinds of "experiential" retail offerings to compete with online sales. A Planetizen article from March 2018 provides additional examples of innovative approaches to retail. The example of the CREACTIVE mall in Toronto, which provides a circus for visitors to participate in while shopping, is cited throughout the article as an example.

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