There’s no market for the supermarket of the future

Hmm, or maybe not: Perhaps my faith in us all working in retail in the future was, er, misplaced. Check out this article and excerpt from Slate.com:

In the coming years, retailers, who are integrating online sales into their business models, simply won’t need the same amount of acreage. The upshot: Demand for retail space is likely to grow at a pace far slower than that of the overall economy.

So, in other words, there’s going to be no jobs for us in the future, including retail. Are we at world’s end? Or do we all just join the fastest ships in the shipping industry?

More from the Slate article:

But e-com­merce has quietly been growing at a rate far higher than that of the overall econo­my. For the last four years, online retail sales have grown at an annual rate of more than 20 percent.

And this, with perhaps a hint of a silver lining for all our future jobs at Target, Wegman’s and Stop & Shop (unless, of course, you were planning on working at the Carousel Mall, apparently)…

For 2008, [research firm] Reis projects there will be 159 million square feet vacant … But landlords shouldn’t lose faith just yet. While vacancy rates are high in some depressed markets — 15 percent in Syracuse, N.Y. — there’s no imminent danger of America’s malls turning into ghost towns. The minute the credit crunch breaks, consumers will surely hit the malls with a vengeance.

And then there’s this column from Forbes.com, which has little to do with this article and has more to do with The Present and (at least in this pull-quote) My Past and many of My Friends’ Present and Past, rather than The Future…

Eventually, companies who strangle and handcuff their employees lose valuable workers and will lose market share; they will be left unprepared when the economy recovers, which it inevitably will. In reality, the abusive or neglectful boss will only be left with people who will take the abuse, and all too often these are underperformers who have little choice in the job marketplace. So, incompetent managers actually weaken the organization for the next economic cycle, while, of course, diminishing their own value and credibility. So, if you are like most managers, complaining about your distressed workload and a life out of balance, ask yourself how many great employees you helped to (unnecessarily) exit the business.

Not that I’m bitter or anything. Just needed something extra to put on my Price Chopper job application.

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