Location is key to retail success against online shopping wave

Posted July 16, 2018 5:56 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2018 6:17 p.m. EDT

There is no denying the popularity of Amazon and online shopping, but there is still plenty of business for brick-and-mortar stores. The key to success is location, location, location.

In Raleigh, Cameron Village is an example of rapid downtown retail growth. The shopping centers has developed 41 square feet of retail space for every new Raleigh resident.

In downtown Raleigh, DECO opened the doors to a new location on Monday. After six years of booming business, the gift shop was ready to expand.

"We've added a pet section. We've added a tween section, and we've been able to grow all our other existing sections that we have," said Helen Varnes.

Retail development is happening all over downtown Raleigh. Just ask Downtown Raleigh Alliance Senior Vice President of Economic Development and Planning Bill King.

"We've had over 40 stores open in the last four years," he said.

Downtown Raleigh made history with its unprecedented growth in retail space, but that's not happening everywhere.

The Ninth Street District in Durham has seen some new businesses develop; however, several stores are having to close their doors. The president of the Ninth Street merchants association says some of those businesses that did not make it found that the market didn't exist.

King says storefronts still have something that online stores don't.

"I think there's a mix of experience and convenience that's offered here," he said.

As long as those two things remain, he says stores will continue opening, and residents will keep shopping.