Chapter 12
Gone Missing
How Multisided Platforms Are Transforming Retail
Where is everybody?
It’s Saturday, December 6, 2014, eighteen shopping days before Christmas, in Boston. The economy is doing well. Yet the stores on Newbury Street, a high-end shopping area, the nearby Copley Place mall, and department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue just don’t seem that crowded. It’s not our imagination, and it’s not just Boston.1
RetailNext, which has sensors that track visits at a sample of retailers, mainly department and mall stores, found that the number of visitors declined by 8 percent between 2013 and 2014.2 People who used to come into the stores to walk around, to look at prices, to meet friends, and maybe to buy weren’t coming as much. ...

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