EGOL: thanks for that article. I leased and sold commercial real estate for 2 decades and I started out working on retail space. I've been following that topic ever since. The article was striking as were the graphs. I've been out of the business for about a decade. I didn't even know there were services that provided the information on the first graph, (on the left)--traffic counts to malls and retail centers. Interesting. I could see why landlords and retailers would want to track that data. For instance take all the malls around the country and all the food courts....and those places are not destination stores. They live off of total foot traffic traffic. So if total foot traffic to those centers have dropped by half in only 3 years...that means there are a lot less hot dogs, tacos and pizza being eaten and sodas being drunk. A lot of those food places will go out of business and a lot of retail space will go empty. Fascinating.
On the second graph let me suggest that the change in delivery of retail space is not a function of the drop in foot traffic...at least not in full...and I'd bet there are significant other reasons.
If you look at page 9 of this document : http://www.fairfaxco...ons/ye09rer.pdf You'll see a chart that represents delivery of office space in Fairfax County, VA going back to the early 1980's and extending to a couple of years ago.
I love that data for a couple of reasons...but that chart (which actually would look very similar if you could find one for the entire US going back that far) shows that the delivery of new office space looks sort of like that chart of retail space delivery over the last few years. Its incredibly erratic with booms and busts. There are impacts and causes for the delivery of space that are completely different than things like "traffic counts".
I just think the graph on the right is misrepresentative of reasons for why so little retail space has been built/delivered over the last few years...not a reflection of the loss of foot traffic.
Of note though according to this great study from a few years ago: https://lib.sandiego...raftApril26.pdf there is about 17 BILLION square feet of retail space in the US. A couple of years ago...per that study using one method they valued all that space at almost $3 Trillion.
That equates to a about 570 feet of retail space for every American. That is more than for any other nation. Some would argue we are over retailed.
But enough of that real estate stuff. Something about websites and marketing for retailers, etc.
Yesterday I was speaking with a local business guy in the DC area. From what he told me, I estimated that the biggest expense he has is a fixed annual cost and I estimate it at around $2.5 million/year. Now he has bunches of other costs ...but that is the big nut.
He can sell his services and make money, even a lot of money...but if he does a lousy job, has a lot of competition, the market falls out--whatever...he can lose a lot of money.
Now I also know something about search phrases and traffic for his industry. Its local...and its niche and small. I just glanced at some data I had for this industry for NYC --which is lots bigger than DC for the same type of service and for a month the most impressions for a critical keyword phrase is about 5,000 searches.
Not a lot. Not a lot in NY with a danged big population. And then competitors are going to pick up a lot of traffic.
This local guy is not going to have the volume of search traffic or other web traffic that is going to support ads enough so that it will make a big dent in his needs for income. The topic is too narrow, the traffic is too small.
Now national retailers have traffic volumes that would make nice money off of ads. More specifically they have ebusinesses and are selling their products off the web.
Local businesses won't generate much traffic. They won't make much money. If its a very popular local product that generates a lot of traffic...they'll make something I suppose...but its not much and its derivative. I woudn't spend much time on it.
For the guy above, I spoke to him a little about his web traffic. He lets the seo's worry about the details. He is interested in the sales. I know his sales can be quite large per sale. He can't be worried about the specifics of his search traffic. I agree with him.
Advertising on a retail site is sort of derivative in my opinion. It can help..but it will only help a little bit.
but that is my opinion.~~ my $0.02.
But thanks for the article. Very interesting.