SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–When you drive across Springfield, you’ll notice once bustling stores that are now out of business, but others are thriving in their place.
While stores like Toys R Us and Kmart are closed, others like Ross and TJ Maxx are a major draw for customers
“All of this was $100 as opposed to I would say at least $200, $250 at Macy’s if we were to go there or to a department store other than where we’re at right now,” says shopper, Heidi Fowler.
Shoppers, Heidi Fowler and Alex Burns are taking advantage of stores like Ross, getting the kinds of deals they say they can’t find anywhere else.
“I’ve been shopping at these places for years and I mean my family, we’ve always been big into shopping at cheaper deals because we had six siblings,” says shopper, Alex Burns.
Carly Pierson is a Missouri State University marketing instructor. She says discount stores remain in business because they’re offering something other retailers are not.
“TJ Maxx or Marshalls, they have a constantly, changing, evolving inventory so it behooves people to go in and in store shop at a TJ Maxx. They know that they can find something different and special at a great value,” says Pierson.
“Even if it’s not name brand, you can get a similar style for pennies on the dollar versus what you can get at Dillard’s or some of those stores,” says a shopper.
Dollar General is another store that is doing really well because they’re located in rural areas with no competition.
“Dollar General has picked out a really specific target market and then very successfully met their needs,” says Pierson.
Unlike folding stores such as Kmart and Toys R Us.
“I think that’s because those really large box stores don’t offer something special to customers anymore. Why would I go and shop in Toys R Us when I can get a much better deal on Amazon?” says Pierson.
Pierson says retailers have to be innovative in order to stick around.
“I think that the takeaway isn’t that brick and mortar retail can’t work, it’s just that it has to be something different, something unique in order to thrive,” says Pierson.
Pierson says it’s unclear how the vacant Toys R Us and Kmart buildings will be used, but says they could make for good church spaces.