Yesterday, the Ministry of Land, Urban Space and Infrastructure published some recent stats that show more than 15.000 vacant stores all over the country, and an acceleration on the trend of consolidation of shopping into shopping centers and also the fast pace of closure of bakeries, butcher shops and the likes as supermarkets become dominant in those markets.
I think you will find that its not an American thing or that AMS is the only place its occurring. To me, its just a natural course of things. Also, i think that people dictate what businesses will survive. Even though we have many large malls supermarkets there are still "mom & pop" shops around. I live in a smaller and older part of PDX and it still has its fair share of small shops. It also has share of larger stores too. However, all of the shops and even the larger ones have to have business to keep them going. I also believe that one major reason that the larger supermarkets and such do work is the "one stop shopping" approach. It saves time if you can go to one place and get 99% of what you want need.
It is a rather interesting discussion to follow, usually because some people use misplaced fears of destruction of cities, or because others use the occasion to lash out on the impacts of online commerce. Some groups "import" and translate criticism of Walmart and then try to awkwardly apply it to a completely different reality.
Im not a big Wallyworld (walmart) fan. In PDX they have tried to put in superstores in places where the local infrastructure cant support the traffic and most of the time they will leave it to the city/county to do the fixes that wont happen with all of the budget cuts everywhere. Also, i do believe they can have an impact on local businesses, but that means that the smaller shops will have to rethink their business model to survive.
Yet, some of the changes appear to be irreversible: after holding out for decades, extended hours and Sunday shopping are becoming common, and certain retail businesses are being taken over by in-house offer by supermarkets. Dutch also love online shopping, the country is becoming (as a % of total consumer retail sales) a leader on e-commerce and this is in fact killing of whole sectors of smaller shops selling things like house appliances, sports gear and bikes. Loss of bike shops due to intense online competition has been particularly noticed.
I think you will see more stores closing and more shopping done "online". Of course there will always be exceptions. I for one dont care to buy my food online especially produce, meats and such. Boxed goods, would be fine. Also, until they get body scanners in every house i choose not to buy my clothes online. The only exception would be if i had purchased the article of clothes before and knew it fit.
this is just my opinion. I think that people forget this world is a DYNAMIC one and not just the planet we live on, but everything around us is DYNAMIC. Shopping, living, how we live will change with time. Look at what personal electronics have done. You guys in AMS can pay your parking meter with your cell phone. We dont have that overhere, yet. With time and technology, there will be more changes ahead. Just look at the 3D printers out there. They are cool now, yet still embryonic of whats possible. How do you think a 3D printer will affect you and your life 10 years from now. Will you be able to make replacement parts at home for your house, car, boat, plane? Would it be possible to "print" a Flat Screen TV in the future??
I think that no matter what happens, people adapt. people are fickle too. whats hot today wont be tomorrow. Also, there is also the old saying...whats old will be new again some day.