Retail challenged by technology and Amazon

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Retailers Association of Massachusetts President, Jon Hurst


Sep 08, 2016

The retail industry is facing challenges everywhere. E-commerce giant Amazon, smarter technology and neighboring New Hampshire are all among key factors impacting retail in Massachusetts?and economies across the nation. Nathan O'Leary and Retailers Association of Massachusetts President, Jon Hurst discuss the state of retail in Massachusetts.

Hosted by: Nathan O'Leary Produced by: Greater Boston Newsmakers Team

This year, for the first time since 2009, Massachusetts did not hold it's annual two day tax free holiday. What impact did that have on retailers?

There are stores that were down you know 50 percent in August because of that and they're down 25 percent year to date which they cannot catch up because of the loss of that very very powerful incentive that the state for many years from 2004 right on until this year did impose. It created an incentive for our consumers, who have so many different options today, whether it is hopping in their cars to go New Hampshire or shopping on their smart phone, all tax free, it incentive our consumers to spend their dollars locally.

Massachusetts also has some of the strictest Blue Laws than any state. Many don't even have them. How does that make a difference here? What exactly are those differences?

Blue laws are government imposed winners and losers types of problems for our long term main street businesses. They began in Massachusetts with the Puritans and they are dying here.

What is the "Amazon Effect" and are retailers able to compete in the changing retail landscape?

Technology is affecting every industry and nothing is accelerating it more than the smart phone

Now in your opinion lets take a crystal ball and look 10, 20 years down the line. What does retail businesses look like?

You're going to see a lot of stores on main street and in malls are no longer going to be there.

We will always have stores because look that's where you see the impulse buying.

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