Is retail shopping dying?

The growth of online stores and proximity to the Galleria foreshadow trouble for new stores in Agora at Stoneridge


A new shopping center on East Roseville Parkway is in the early stages of planning, but some critics wonder if it’s really necessary.

There is not a lot known about the unnamed “Agora at Stone Ridge” shopping center except for its location and the fact that it will have 25,000 square feet of anchor space, 8,200 square feet of in-line shop space and 7,900 square feet of shop space.

With the property’s proximity to the Westfield Galleria mall in Roseville and retail store attendance declining, it’s not unfair to ask if this shopping center is needed or even wanted.

Online shopping is skyrocketing with companies like Amazon generating profits and controlling market share in ways that are making local businesses sweat.

Last year Amazon made $10.1 billion in profit, and that number is expected to continue rising in the coming years.

More and more consumers are opting to confide in the leisure of the virtual store.

“We are very dependent on online shopping,” sophomore Victoria Wells said. “(My family and I) use Amazon a lot and have Amazon orders coming home every day.”

This year it is predicted that, nationally, an estimated 12,000 stores will close and big names like Tesla have said that they will be moving most of their business to the web.

It’s clear that local businesses will continue to have trouble competing with the relentless speed of Amazon and other online stores.

Some say online shopping is not as much of a threat as the media makes it out to be and that mom-and-pop shops would be closing down regardless of the surge in e-commerce.

It is easier to shop online because you don’t have to do anything. You just have to swipe to buy something.

— Paige Beater

Others say online shopping is going to be the death of local business and that, in the future, the demise brick and mortar will be completely inevitable.

“It is easier to shop online because you don’t have to do anything,” sophomore Paige Beater said. “You just have to swipe to buy something.”

Most agree that the age of technology has reinvented the game of shopping and that in this culture, it is important to adapt.

This is a problem the new shopping center and frankly all new businesses will have to deal with in the near future.

Stores are trying to find ways that the physical presence of products and the personalized experience of brick and mortar stores can make a case for the existence of their establishments.

“(Online clothing shopping) is easier to browse, but the drawbacks are that you can’t try (the clothes) on,” Wells said. “You don’t know exactly (how) it will be. You can’t touch it.”

A lot of consumers say the physical presence of their goods is a major selling point of retail stores.

“It is nice because in real shopping, you get to see what you are going to get to buy versus just looking at a picture,” Beater said.

With all of this in mind, the new shopping center will have to deal with a plethora of issues in this current era of shopping.

Its stores will have to master the use of technology to give consumers a real incentive to bring their physical presence to the store.

The shopping center will also need an extensive amount of trendy and unique utilities that online shopping and other businesses don’t offer.

“(Many people shop at) Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 because many influencers and teenagers buy from there, which makes it cool to get clothes from there,” sophomore Ella McCarron said.

Young people often go out to shop for social purposes, and a variety of trendy stores can attract this demographic.

Additionally, the shopping center will have to compete with the 1,336,009 square-foot Galleria mall which is only  two miles down the road and boasts the largest selection of stores in the area.

Tapping into the market of people who are less attracted to the lineup of the Galleria mall will be essential to the success of the new competition.

“The mall is where I shop the most, but it would be cool if there were new (stores nearby),” sophomore Miya Bannai said.