EntrepreneurshipRetailSustainabilityTechnology

The Fall Of Big Retail And The Rise of Small E-Tail

The Fall Of Big Retail And The Rise of Small E-Tail
The systemic fall of big retail troubles many CEO’s and invigorates others. While the change is unfortunate for some, it makes way for the rise and growth of small e-Tail sole proprietors and businesses. Never in world history has it been easier to jump into the game of capitalism while making a social impact.
If you’ve been paying close attention to the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, and Steven Hawking, you and I are pretty much being warned about the takeover of Artificial Intelligence. No longer is there a debate as to will this happen or not, but the question is, “When?”
In a November 11, 2017 interview with CNBC, Bill Gates highlights the complexities and potential danger of AI to lower income communities. He says, "If we're not careful, technology will actually accentuate the difference between the well off and the poor because if it's expensive, if you learn about it only in a rich country school, then you'll have the difference between the well off and the poor people even worse."
Gates is believes that AI could ultimately free up mankind to engage in care for the elderly, as well as other person to person connected activities that robots aren’t capable of taking on due to their lack of compassion and empathy. However, the founder and former Microsoft CEO warns that the labor manufacturing and other jobs of the like will be without a doubt, taken over by robots.

Big Retail and AI

The Fall Of Big Retail And The Rise of Small E-Tail

Courtesy of JPRA Architects

In the northeastern region of the States, many eyes are on Philadelphia’s Market East district. Philadelphia Magazine reports that the relatively small patch of city atop the downtown Philly Jefferson Transportation Station could soon be the site of Philadelphia’s latest great reawakening. “Optimism practically overflowed in May when real estate analysts at JLL proclaimed Market East the country’s most desirable retail corridor.” per Philadelphia Magazine.
The city wants to avoid retail shopping vacancies for fear of the bustling downtown area being deemed by street onlookers as “out of business.” This perception could certainly hurt the cities’ efforts in it’s rebuilding process as a premier city on the national stage.
Near by residents are surprisingly optimistic about the potential change says John Connors, a developer with Brickstone, the firm behind the newly opened Fine Wine & Good Spirits and PetSmart nearby on Chestnut. “We were shocked by the incredible pent-up demand for retail in the neighborhood,” he says.
The Great Fall of brick and mortar hasn’t completely taken place, and most likely never will for select brands. But much about their offerings will change as well as the type of business that they must evolve into.
Hillary Clinton has warned that the US is “totally unprepared” for the economic and societal effects of artificial intelligence. The former Secretary of State asked, “What are we going to do when we get driverless cars?” She continues, “It sounds like a great idea. And how many millions of people, truck drivers and parcel delivery people and cab drivers and even Uber drivers, what do we do with the millions of people who will no longer have a job? We are totally unprepared for that.” Clinton believes that there should be an American policy on Artificial Intelligence. I happen to agree with her, but there must needs to be a dialogue among the nations citizens before enacting any such laws.
The Verge writes that The National Bureau of Economic Research found that each new robot added to the workforce meant the loss of between 3 and 5.6 jobs in the local commuting area. Meanwhile, for each new robot added per 1,000 workers, wages in the surrounding area would fall between 0.25 and 0.5 percent. Competition for Artificial Intelligence with China is another area of concern for the US — experts are unanimous that the country is in danger of falling behind.
Acemoglu and Restrepo note that because there are relatively few industrial robots in the US, the number of jobs lost to them so far has been limited. (They estimate between 360,00 and 670,000 jobs — a decline in employment to population ratio of between a 0.18 and 0.34 percentage points.) “However, if the spread of robots proceeds as expected by experts over the next two decades, the future aggregate implications of the spread of robots could be much more sizable.” - Nber 

Small e-Tail and AI

The Fall Of Big Retail And The Rise of Small E-Tail

Courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Worldwide and national attention are disproportionately reported in the area of the struggles of big business in the e-tail space. Yet there are a number of budding entrepreneurs on shoe-lace budgets who benefits from AI and it’s easy accessibility right from their pockets in the form of the smart phone. More and more creatives are running their business strait out of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to name a few. However, business strategy manages to escape many of the capitalists newbies who are attempting to foray their ideas into the large waters of e-commerce competition.
The hiring of Angela Ahrendts by Apple, Inc. in 2014 has brought about a significant change in Apple stores worldwide. In October of 2016, Ahrendts attended Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women” conference where she stated that, “Companies have a huge obligation right now, and the bigger the company, the bigger the obligation. We are thinking about what the community needs.” Apple, Inc. has a clear path to become in the worlds first one trillion dollar company, yet they understand the need to “grow smaller”.
The popularization of social media over the past decade claims much of the responsibility to connecting society in new and more innovate ways, for a very low cost, and even free. Ahrendts spearheads the tech giants mission to educate local communities by utilizing local professionals of various fields how host lecture sessions called “Today At Apple”. These inspiring lessons are designed to help and train those looking to learn a new skill or simply wanting to master using their Apple device. Some of the programs educate students in the areas of: Photo and Video, Art and Design, Coding, Business, and How To Stay Fit.
The Fall Of Big Retail And The Rise of Small E-Tail
The Fall Of Big Retail And The Rise of Small E-Tail
The Fall Of Big Retail And The Rise of Small E-Tail

Courtesy of Apple, Inc.

Personal Responsibility

Though innovative, Ahrendts concedes that she is not technologically savvy. She came to Apple from her role as CEO of the global fashion house Burberry. On an episode of ABC Radio’s "No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis," Ahrendts opened up about the power of taking on unexpected opportunities. "It's incredible when things fall into place," Ahrendts said. "I think there's just lessons all along the way that you learn, and they make you stronger and better. And you have no idea that it was part of preparing you for what was next."
Sustainability is another important factor when analyzing how to sustain and scale a business. Typically, the larger the company, the more waste it produces. But this doesn’t have to be when factoring in smarter logistics, renewable energy, and mobility. Having access to the smartest and healthiest way of doing business now sits on the front door of the bootstrapping entrepreneur. Therefore there’s no reason to bite the dust from the trail that Artificial Intelligence leaves behind.
Recent news broke about Trump wanting to deploy an internet tax to help brick and mortar retail, so we’ll see how long some of these free and inexpensive internet tools and services will remain free of charge or at a low cost. That is why taking action now is essential if any creative and/or business owner does not want to get swept up in the societal change that AI brings. The framework and life-blood of businesses, whether small or large, will greatly depend upon its digital footprint. There will always be a place for the curated one on one experience, but it appears that technology will still be present.

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