I just listened to a brilliant man on a brilliant streaming show: Gerald Celente, on CARAVAN TO MIDNIGHT. My compliments to both.
Gerald is a man whose words are much like a shotgun blast striking clay targets. Not only on target, but able to smash right through the B.S. Last night he made a statement that resonated deeply with me. He made my mind connect with one of my most treasured concepts in business: Icarus Paradox.
Years ago I read the book, [and you should, too!], The Icarus Paradox: How Exceptional Companies Bring About Their Own Downfall, by Danny Miller. Man, oh, man. What an eye opener. In a nutshell, whenever anything gets too big, extends too far, it will be unable to sustain itself and will then implode. Miller makes his point by drawing on the myth about Icarus and the powerful set of wings he made for himself.
Icarus discovered he could fly very high with his wings built of feathers and wax. He became so filled with hubris that he flew higher and higher until he got so close to the sun that the sun melted the wax of his wings and he crashed to his death.
Big-box retail has expanded in the manner of Icarus flying higher. A few years ago, big-box retailing had flown “too high” and the wax on its wings began to melt when big-box retailing ran smack into a powerful brick wall. The brick wall is made of a combination of negative spending factors: aging population, a decaying birth-death rate, jobs lost to other countries because of “free” trade, huge unemployment, political corruption at every level of politics, and all manner of taxes, fees, fines, burdens, forced healthcare programs imposed by government, and many other factors.
And then there is the matter of the convenience and low cost of ONLINE RETAIL shopping.
In short, we are witnessing big-box Peak Retail. Big-box retailing has already grown, already matured, already topped, already rolled over, and is now on the downward side of the big-box retail growth curve.
If you follow business media, there are increasing reports of big-chain retail profits hitting the wall. Even if retail profits are not yet decaying, in anticipation of reaching peak retail profits some companies who still are highly profitable are beginning to prepare by diversifying out of a pure retail play and into all manner of other current and futuristic business opportunities. Just look at how profitable companies such as Amazon and Google are diversifying beyond their original business models.
Though “peak-retailing” sounds pretty bad for big-box retailing and possibly retailing in general, Celente comes to the rescue to enlighten us that there are opportunities for entrepreneurs. To paraphrase Celente: when the big-box retailers disappear, the need for their products will still exist..this will once again open the doors to the smaller, clever entrepreneur.
So, do you see it in your community yet? Big-box retailers have flown as high as they can and are losing the wax on their wings? If you are looking for opportunities to become an entrepreneur, any day now, opportunity just might soon be at your doorstep.
When those massive retail chains vacate their mall locations, people of your community will still need many of the products those giants were selling. Volumes will be less, but the need for items in some quantity, even small quantities, will remain. Too small for big-box stores but, likely, more than sufficient to provide a healthy income stream for small-sized retailers.
The demise of big-box retailers may scream of opportunity for clever entrepreneurs. For entrepreneurs, the Icarus Pardox that big-box retail stores are facing may never have looked this good.