This is what the destructive part of creative destruction looks like. Creativity producing amazing new stuff is the upside.
Amazing new services and products arising from the technology revolution are a delight every day. We are all benefiting from astounding stuff. Tons of entertainment options on the ‘net. Astounding capabilities for our smartphones.
The downside is companies that can’t keep up are getting swept away. The people and space involved in old stuff can be reused in new services. That is creative destruction.
5/31/17 – Fortune – RadioShack’s Tweets Offer a Bleak Look Into the Retailer’s Demise – Over Memorial Day weekend, RadioShack had a liquidation sale at over 1,000 of its retail stores. After closing those locations, there will only by 70 corporate owned stores and 500 dealer owned stores left.
Sales dropped from a peak of $6.3B in 1996 to only $3.5B last year, due to the company not being able to counter the shift to on-line sales.
Consider the missed opportunities, from a comment by Stephen Green at Instapundit:
Just like Sears did, Radio Shack had the catalog business and associated customer database available to put together a first-rate online business before Amazon sold its first book.
Neither Sears’ nor Radio Shack’s management proved innovative enough to do so, and now both are failing.
Speaking of Sears…
6/6/17 – Retail Dive – Sears store closures for 2017 now pushing 250 – Sears announced another 66 stores will be closed, on top of the 180 already known. Article says Business Insider has identified an additional 7 auto centers that will be closing.
Article says those closures will bring Sears down to less than 1,200 stores, off from 2,019 in 2012. That is a drop of about 800 in 5 years. That is about a 40% drop, or something in the range of around 8% a year.
Article says Sears has missed their revenue and net income targets for 20 consecutive quarters.
And speaking of entire industries collapsing …
6/1/17 – Washington Examiner – Fishwrap: Newspaper circulation at 77-year low – Estimate from Pew Research Center is that circulation of all newspapers in the US is 34.6M, which is a whopping 6M less than in 1940, way back before the start of World War II.
In just the last year circulation dropped 8%.
How would you like to work in an industry that is shrinking 8% a year?