Issue No. 212: Fashion’s Duopoly

A last word: part anecdotal, part data-driven

Summer of 2016, I was sitting in the conference room of Cambridge’s Founder Collective when I was first asked the question: what opportunity aren’t we seeing? I explained that we will need to solve a retail infrastructure problem in exurban areas of American cities. If we don’t plan on putting millions of square feet of suburban retail space to work, communities will suffer and so will residential property values, tax revenues, school funding, and on, and on.

For veteran readers of 2PM, this past weekend’s economic banter was a long time coming.

Michael Corkery: Is American retail at an historic tipping point?

Paul Krugman: Why don’t all jobs matter?

Hayley Peterson: Retail job apocalypse is creating a ‘rolling crisis’

The intent of 2PM is to help this community of readers do their jobs better by highlighting or analyzing the best information. Observing, measuring, or commenting on market-shifts that can influence how you do your job. Whether that role is in online publishing, commerce, or brand, or data science – there’s something for most folks to latch onto.Between issues 1 and 180, I occasionally spent time pointing to articles, excerpts, charts, or trusted opinions on what seemed to be markers for a likelihood of a fast retail collapse.

This loss spans retail jobs, retail storefronts, and the entire suburban commercial developments that depend on a healthy ecosystem of service workers, commerce, and consumers. We were overdue for a drastic market correction but this one seemed to have caught many experts off guard. On a positive note, this is how great opportunities present themselves.This past weekend two older Twitter threads of mine began to make the rounds:

First thread (January 17, 2017): The U.S. has lost 20,000+ retail jobs in the last month. Still not a hot button political issue.

Second thread (January 4, 2017): Everyone writes about eCommerce altering retail but no one writes about how it will change suburban areas w/ concentrated retail employment.

I invite you to follow the above links as they provide commentary by much smarter folks. Chatter on the matter is at critical mass, though I don’t agree with some of it. If you’re interested in why I disagree with the sociopolitical angle by Krugman, just reply to this email. I’d love to discuss. – @web
See more of the issue here.

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