'Retail Apocalypse' bringing new hope to locally owned retailers - WNEM TV 5

'Retail Apocalypse' bringing new hope to locally owned retailers

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FENTON, MI (WNEM) -

Internet sales from sites like Amazon and eBay are soaring, leaving many corporate stores in the dust. 

Researchers are projecting a record number of closures of brick and mortar stores in 2017. 

"Online is definitely a tough market to compete with,"  Kimberly McCreary said. 

McCreary said she grapples with how to win over online shoppers every day. She opened Northern Country Chic in downtown Fenton last spring. She said she has her own way of taking on giant online retailers. 

"Honestly, it's hard but you have to sell the store yourself. You have to sell customer service and you as a person and let people know you are just a little mom and pop shop," McCreary said. 

McCreary sells everything from clothes to decorations. She said even though big box stores like Macy's and JC Penny's are closing at a rapid pace, she hopes privately owned businesses see an up tick of sales.

Some shoppers said they're not surprised mall stores are rapidly closing.

"The mall is a little over overwhelming, honestly," Lauren Niekamp said. 

"People are buying online. I think the larger stores, unfortunately, have too much inventory and too much overhead," Elizabeth Dauer said. 

Discount stores like TJ MaXX and Marshall's are seeing record profits. McCreary said the way people shop is always evolving, but she thinks locally owned stores will see a comeback. 

"People just kind of fall in love with your vibe and your dream and kind of just get that pull. They want to support you instead of the big corporate or the online stores," she said. 

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