The last time I posted about this, I cited brick and mortar retail businesses as a whole as not being hot, and sadly, that trend continues. While I find it hard to imagine a world without retail stores, I do suspect we’ve seen its heyday. When was the last time you were in a mall? I know my wife and I used to go almost every week, and now it’s every other month or so. And we’re fairly typical here.
Print media isn’t doing so hot either. Used to be every town had a little local paper and a printer. Now it’s probably more like “every county” has these.
Of course, the above was directly affected by the internet. But it’s not all bad – for example, there is a marked rise in online retailing, and online printing. If you are a typical small business, it’s likely you used an online printing service over the last few years. Those businesses didn’t exist two decades ago. And many surviving brick and mortar printers are offering online services as well – my local printer offers cloud storage, online proofs, uploading pictures, and more. So they are not only surviving, but many are thriving as well.
There is one industry that has been hit hard that I never mentioned before – Taxis. We finance far fewer taxis than we used to. Uber and similar have really put a dent in them, with many 20-somethings never having used a cab in their lifetime. And Uber is now a noun and a verb, which is always an interesting development for a company.
But to stay positive, the rise of Uber has many “silver lining” facets – many regular people can now earn a part time income in their spare time driving for Uber. So when something isn’t hot, or on its way down, something else always rises from it.
That’s always been the way industry and business work in the USA, and I’m glad for it.