Traditional retail looking adapt to online world

MARQUETTE — One big challenge many traditionally stores are facing is the internet, with online giants like Amazon being established in the marketplace.

Competition is something every business faces and it’s one thing when competition exists in a single community.

“If you’re in a local market and somebody adds a store that sells what you already sell that doesn’t necessarily increase the demand for that product,” said Dr. Larry Bajor, Department Chair of Accounting, Finance and Information Systems at Ferris State University. “What it means is that you’re going to split the revenues between your store and the other store.”

However, now business must compete on a national scale to some extent.

Dr. Bajor said, “When you add the internet to that mix, every local store is competing with a very large number of other stores on a national basis.”

For local business, that can mean some adapting.

“Over the years, we’ve made plenty of changes in the way we do retail and as many people, we’ve been online for 18 years with our website,” said Dennis Mingay, general manager at Getz in downtown Marquette. “But, we also sell on Amazon now, because it’s become a very prevalent way of doing business.”

According to Mingay, that’s the way the market is going, and selling online is the best way to reach young people. However, there are ways to keep people coming through the front door.

Mingay said, “We’re a name brand source, and hence we keep promoting those, and through both image ads. We’ll run coupons to keep the door swinging, and try to do the best we can to keep ourselves relevant in the industry.”

Dr. Bajor said that many businesses can capitalizes on their advantages, such as store ambiance or even just letting customers handle their merchandise in person.

However, it’s also up to consumers to decide what kind of retail will exist in the future. One way they both say you can do it is to get off the internet and get outside for some traditional brick and mortar shopping.

Dr. Bajor said, “If you like having stores in your downtown, if you like having stores in your town, you have to purchase from them, you have to patronize them.”