After 70 years of business, Toys “R” Us will be closing its doors.

In recent days, the ear-piercing store Claire’s has also declared bankruptcy.

According to a report from CNN,  the two beloved stores, which have sold stuffed animals, earrings, bikes, makeup and dolls to millions of kids across the country, are the most recent retail giants to fall victim to Amazon and other online stores.

Online shopping is very familiar to most of us nowadays.

Due mainly to convenience, many of us shop online instead of visiting a store for what we may need.

Many online stores allow customers to do price comparisons, which allows them to make sure that they are getting the most for their money.

Online stores also routinely offer discounts and free shipping, which also helps to attract customers.

There is no doubt that websites like Amazon and eBay are beginning to take center stage.

But the real question is, how is it affecting businesses?

Large retail stores are not immune to the effects of online shopping.

Even well-established stores, such as Target and Walmart, are feeling the effects.

According to recent reports from the Pew Research Center, the growth of the number of store counts across the country has declined by three percent  in the last year.

“They’re not dead,” Joseph Sugarman, an expert from Johns Hopkins University, said, “But the future of retail will evolve and morph into something else — something that will reflect social and cultural developments.”

The digitalization of the world has evolved over the years, and retail stores must be able to evolve with it.

So how can businesses successfully change with the market in order to continue being successful?

According to Sugarman, “The ones that offer an experience or a destination for social interaction will be the ones that survive.”

The digitalization of the world has led to more social isolation, so retail stores are becoming more of a social meet and greet than a spot to shop.

Online shopping is indeed convenient and will most likely continue to surge.

While it is important for businesses to grow and change with the evolving market, it is also important for customers to remember not to always shop online.

It is easy to fall into scams and accidentally give away important information online.

It is also important to engage with the community and not fall into isolation, and online shopping is a way of preventing that.

But as long as you’re being safe, keep clicking away!

Lindsay Gibbons can be contacted at

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