Two out of three business owners who currently run both an online and physical store believe that they will close their physical store’s doors within ten years and operate their business solely online, according to new research conducted by GetApp.

Earlier this year it was reported that the ‘retail apocalypse’ had officially hit the United States, with more than 3,500 stores including well-known brands such as JCPenney, Kmart, and Abercrombie & Fitch reportedly closing their doors early this year. Macy’s, one of the United States’ largest department stores, reported that they are going to close almost 100 stores, equating to almost 15% of its store base.

Additionally, at this year’s Berkshire Hathaway meeting, Warren Buffett declared that the department store is now online, referring to the perceptible rate that stores are turning away from the traditional brick-and-mortar model of retail to focus on their online eCommerce stores.

It appears that business owners who run both models of store are prepared, or are at least aware, that the ‘retail apocalypse’ trend could affect their future sales strategy.

Key Findings

  • Of the business owners who run both an online and physical store, almost two thirds said that it is either likely or extremely likely that they will close their physical stores and operate their business fully online within the next ten years.
  • Only 4.4% of business owners think that it is extremely unlikely that they will only operate an online business within the next ten years.
  • Just over 17% of business owners remain neutral about the possibility of closing their physical stores.

Details of the research

Respondents answered the question: “How likely is it that your business will be fully conducted online within the next 10 years (i.e. you will no longer operate a physical store)?”

#1. Likely – 43.4%

#2. Extremely likely – 22.7%

#3. Neutral – 17.2%

#4. Unlikely – 12.3%

#5. Extremely unlikely – 4.4%

Demographics: Over 200 US-based business respondents, who run both an online and physical store. Respondents are all aged over 18 and have an average inferred annual income of $24k – $150k.


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