I sniped the image below from a piece that charted Amazons remarkable rise. The rest of the chart set can be found here.
Source – recode
The reason I was drawn to this chart and not the others in the series is because if touches on a theme that I rabbit on about constantly – the need to adapt and to avoid irrelevancy. What interests me about this is that Walmart has effectively gone nowhere since the turn of the century. Yet despite the obvious power of this metric they have allowed themselves to be effectively marginalised, as no doubt have the majority of other US big retailers. If you understand anything about the demographics of the US you will now that there will always be a portion of society that will shop at institutions such as Walmart but that population will shrink and the dell of the great American Mall is already occurring at a remarkable place as they are displaced by the juggernaut of online shopping.
Such a shift does raise the question as to what could be done by traditional retailers to avert the slide and my guess is that there is nothing that can be done. However, the bigger question and the one that is relevant to everyone is why did they not see the change as it was occurring? What blinds us to the obvious in our own lives? To this I dont really have an answer I have a few guesses and they revolve around the paradox individuals being so narcissistic that they cannot perceive anything other than themselves ( a function of people who take endless photos of themselves). Or people being so uninvolved in their own lives that time and events merely wash past them.
But these are only guesses based upon my own observations. These observations are naturally tainted by I own blind spots.