Local Brick-and-Mortar Stores Continue to Struggle
The local retail industry took another hit this week, with one retailer officially closing and another announcing its closure.
For Eric Batie and his fellow employees at HHGregg, it's a day of mixed emotions.
“It's surreal,” said Batie. “It wasn't even on our radar that we were going to be closing."
After liquidating all of its merchandise, the company has officially closed its Erie location.
"It's one of those things,” said Batie. “Everything comes to an end sooner or later."
Over the past year, HHGregg is one of several brick-and-mortar shops to close in Erie. Some of the other businesses include Sears, Kmart, and Erie's last RadioShack, which is now getting ready to close.
Economists say a main culprit behind these closings, is the "Amazon Effect." Customers are able to use websites like Amazon to shop without having to leave their homes.
The online trend is forcing many retailers to either shutter or close.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, in February alone, retailers nationwide cut 30,000 jobs.
The Erie HHGregg was one of 88 locations the company initially cut. However, the company recently announced that it is closing all stores, after failing to find a buyer.