An alarming, yet amazing, thing is happening in the world of entrepreneurship as major retailers close their doors due to poor sales and bankruptcy. The retail sector has suffered a tremendous loss of jobs for the past three years in a row in the U.S, as thousands of brick and mortar stores closed. Retail remains one of the country’s largest employers, providing more than 15.8 million jobs, but the reorganization of the retail landscape is having a devastating impact on the nature of its workforce
We’ve barely made it out of the first quarter of 2019 and already over 4,000 store closures have been announced. Payless ShoeSource is closing 2,500 stores in the U.S. and Canada, Gymboree is closing 805 stores, Shopko is closing 251 stores, Performance Bicycle is closing 102 stores, Charlotte Russe is closing 94 stores, Sears is closing 70 stores, Destination Maternity is closing 67 stores, Kmart is closing 50 stores, Christopher & Banks is closing 40 stores, Beauty Brands is closing 25 stores, Henri Bendel is closing 23 stores, Lowe’s is closing 20 stores, Macy’s is closing 9 stores, J. Crew is closing 7 stores, Kohl’s is closing 4 stores, Nordstrom is closing 3 stores, J.C. Penny is closing 24 stores, Lord & Taylor is closing 2 stores and Victoria’s Secret is closing 53 more stores after closing 30 stores in 2018.
Now, it has been estimated that these closings are responsible for over 150,000 job losses, with women occupying 90 percent of those jobs. Retail remains a “hugely important” employer for women, says Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute For Women’s Policy Research, especially as a provider of part-time jobs for women who are looking to balance work with family obligations. “Women are very dependent on the nearby shopping center and retail outlets especially as they get back into the work market.”
The inability of these major retail chains to compete with online sales and the “Amazon Effect” is causing the average individual, who would not have ever thought to take on any type of entrepreneurial venture, to explore self-employment and business ownership. And surprisingly, this massive shock has helped these new entrepreneurs replace their loss of income by GOING GREEN!!!
Green projects are not only lucrative but they encourage environmentally conscious ways of living and working. The green movement is prompting entrepreneurs to develop new business concepts around environmentally friendly issues. For the green savvy entrepreneur, here are the top two green business ideas that do very well online and offline:
• Green cleaning supplies and services—This is still a very hot niche because more families are buying green products to prevent allergies and further aggravation of illnesses in children and seniors. Green cleaning products are better for the environment and they cut down on the chemicals ingested by people living and working in the buildings in which they are used. An entrepreneurial green startup would find success with green cleaning supply distribution and providing green cleaning services.
• Gift basket service—Gift baskets remain popular for a variety of events and occasions. You can build a gift basket business that specializes in organic products and sustainable materials. A bonus to this business is the ability to create your own “green events” that are environmentally focused.
These are only the top two of several green business ideas that fledgling entrepreneurs can develop. If you’re thinking of launching a new business but you don’t know which way to go, consider exploring a green business. They’re good for your pocket and the environment.