Tag Archives: mall closing

AMS: At the Forefront of Change

Change is constant. Children revel in it, adults move with it, elders might resist it and a business is wise to anticipate it. We all are involved in creating this particular change, as it’s a revolution in the way we shop and buy. With technology came the Internet, with the Internet came e-commerce. Now it appears that with e-commerce we’re seeing changes in the physical landscape and social landscape as well.

A recent article in Bloomberg talks about the impact of e-commerce on mall owners who are seeing their real estate decline in value. Their choice appears to be attempting to sell the lower-tier malls and transform the more profitable ones. Apparently selling mall real estate is becoming difficult with buyers demanding steep discounts due to the risk. The article goes on to talk specifics about the difficulties mall owners are facing as this change expands.

AMS Fulfillment is very much involved in the rise of e-commerce and for us this change presents new challenges. Early on we anticipated the need for skilled workers in the warehouse who are trained in logistics, and we entered into collaboration with SCV College of the Canyons (COC) in an effort to develop our workforce. We equipped a full classroom with computers in order to accommodate the training.

AMS and COC experienced such success with their initial efforts that they collaborated on a first of its kind Logistics Apprenticeship Program. This innovative solution to training a skilled logistics workforce is in process, and it can now serve as a model for other community colleges and businesses involved in warehousing and logistics.

In developing its workforce, AMS has done well at anticipating and responding to the e-commerce revolution. Certainly more can be anticipated as e-commerce continues to expand into new markets and blockchain technology enters the logistics arena.

A second, and vital way that AMS has responded to the surge in e-commerce is with technology improvements that keep us at the forefront. Jay Catlin, President of AMS, had this to say about the expansion of AMS technology: “Our amazing team of developers and engineers are continuously making impactful change with analysis, processes improvement and new technology. You have to stay nimble when you manage a large and diverse client base with a wide array of commodities and order metrics, but AMS has managed to innovate in a way that works across the entire business.”

But when looking at mall real estate, the Bloomberg article does not paint a comfortable picture. Larger, more popular malls that have added attractions e-commerce cannot provide, are expected to survive. For others, the recommendation is… “If you’re thinking about selling an asset down the road, it would be wise to think about pulling it forward and selling now.”

We invite you to visit our website and contact AMS for E-commerce Fulfillment, Drop Shipping, Amazon Prime, Infomercial and all Direct to Consumer Fulfillment.

 

Retail Stores Heavily Impacted by eCommerce

For some time now, we have seen brick-and-mortar retailers struggling to survive. It’s the age of eCommerce, online shopping, finding deals on trusted brands and new products without ever entering the department store to see what you’re buying. Yes, foot traffic at America’s malls is in decline.

We’ve recently seen Payless ShoeStore file Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announce the closure of nearly 400 stores. This follows several large retail giants including Sears, Macy’s and Kmart, announcing that a number of their stores will be closing. Others are experiencing the change as well, with smaller specialty stores shutting down altogether.

There was a time period where the mall was the place to be, not just for shopping but for socialization, fun and excitement. Now, with the advent of mobile phones and social media, people are socializing and shopping in a new way and the retailers are implementing new strategies, adjusting to the change.

This trend to purchase and sell goods and services via the Internet began around 50 years ago. Going back, we find the first examples of eCommerce via an electronic data interchange (EDI) on value-added networks (VANs). After that the public began to turn to the Internet for certain products. By the early 2000s, EBay was doing beautifully and Amazon had grown quite large through book sales.

Websites were offering products, but still, a person might be reluctant to buy an item of clothing or shoes without being able to check sizes, fabrics, quality and so on. Gradually public trust grew alongside confidence that purchases could be returned and the customer service was adequate. AMS Fulfillment has watched this change take place and we have been changing with it.

A recent ZeroHedge article looks at how the 18-35 generation, aka Millennials, have driven the change in shopping:

Millennials favor the convenience of online shopping,
Millennials do not find value in big suburban malls
Millennials often work a lot of hours and don’t want to waste time commuting/driving to suburban shopping.
Hard to beat the easy return policies or the value of free delivery,
The future of the Mall is likely limited as well as many “brick & mortar” retailers.
America is the most highly over-stored nation in the world. Excess retailing space is a massive future problem.
Amazon has reached critical mass and as Millennials continue to dominate, online procurement and delivery will continue to accelerate.

Still, millions of people enjoy the mall, and the iconic department stores, and would like to see them create a prosperous future. In an effort to do just this, department stores have been expanding what they offer customers. One means has been to provide a more customized experience for the shopper and offer personal attention and VIP services. Among those offerings are in-store stylists and tailors, loyalty programs, special events such as wine & cheese offerings, subscription services, sales preview events, customized fragrances, and so on.

As one might expect, AMS Fulfillment has expanded and adapted to eCommerce growth. Being the 3rd party between the seller and the buyer, we serve both our clients and their customers. As a full-service company, AMS, does more than fulfillment. For a number of our eCommerce clients we handle the warehousing and order fulfillment plus the entire back office: customer service, returns, repairs, and accounting.

Please visit our website for more information on the AMS Full Service Model.