Local boutiques benefit from big retailers closing

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- K-Mart is just one of the latest large retailers to shut their doors.

The Limited has also announced they will be closing all of their brick and mortar stores, resorting to online sales only.

Customers have become savvy shoppers than ever before.

"Finding the lowest prices that are available. This could put some traditional brick and mortar type stores in difficult situations," Associate Professor of Economics at Western Kentucky University, David Zimmer, said.

But why are big retailers shutting their doors? Zimmer says that it might not be because the sales are going down. It could be the way customers are buying clothes that's changing.

"A place like The Limited typically in the past, has had all of their merchandise out on display. A lot of retailers are moving to a situation now, where much more of it is held in the back. An extreme version of that, would be Amazon," Zimmer added.

One locally owned boutique, says big name retailers shutting their doors has helped their sales in store and online.

"People are stepping out of the chain, whole sale, big retail stores and they're shopping more local," Store Manager of Bluetique, Morganne Test said.

Bluetique says they even attribute their sales to social media, targeting their customers. Something big retailers might have a harder time doing.

"We do an hourly post on our Instagram, as well as a follow up on Facebook. We run big sales, like our Dot Sale is going on right now, we run big sales that are focused around our clients," Test added.

As for the future of online shopping, it might not ever completely replace brick and mortar shopping.

"But it could feed into it more and more and more so that, eventually going online becomes the dominant way in which people shop for all things," Zimmer added.

The economist says retailers may even have to change the over all experience shoppers have in the store, to keep them coming in.

Another major retailer to close in south central Kentucky is Macy's in the Greenwood Mall.

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