Jun 10, 2021 - Economy

Main Street retail fears grow

A store's "open" sign held up by a vaccine syringe.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Owners of independent brick-and-mortar businesses have a bleak outlook of the competitive threat posed by online shopping.

Driving the news: A new survey of local U.S. retailers published by Shopify Thursday shows that 82% of respondents agree that major online marketplaces are making it more difficult to operate.

Why it matters: The pandemic accelerated the decline of retail stores and this latest study adds to the expectation that more than 150,000 stores may close in the next five years.

  • About 89% of local retailers surveyed say they are in competition with online retailers.
  • And of those, 59% say they may be forced to close their business within the next 24 months.

State of play: In some cases, businesses are using their stores as last-mile delivery solutions to complement their e-commerce strategy — fulfilling online orders while providing a local presence.

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