PCSB in the News: Assistant Professor of Marketing Helen Caldwell Talks about the Impact of Online Shopping

Image result for holiday shoppingIn a segment on WJAR Channel 10, the PCSB’s Dr. Helen Caldwell offers her insight on how online shopping can cause real obstacles for small businesses around the holidays. When faced with fierce competition by huge online retailers like Amazon, local businesses experience significant challenges. In an effort to change this, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is encouraging Providence shoppers to visit local businesses rather than do all of their shopping online. The city is even offering free parking throughout the season to encourage this.

However, Dr. Caldwell does not think this is enough to save the small stores. “It’s going to take a lot more than that,” she says, because when it comes to online shopping, there is a certain level of convenience that prevents people from going out to local businesses to shop. The Benny’s closures are clear evidence of this competition. Dr. Caldwell says,

“And if a company like Benny’s, which had a really strong following, can’t compete, what is one small store going to be able to do?”

To watch the full segment with Dr. Caldwell, click here!