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Marc Andreessen, the creator of Netscape and a partner of Andreessen Horowitz, isn’t afraid to speak his mind.Andreessen, who is invested in Pinterest, Foursquare and Business Insider, recently discussed the future of commerce with PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy.
He told her traditional retail stores will die off, and e-commerce stores will be the only way we shop in the future.
We’ve already seen this happen in some categories. Netflix put Blockbuster out of business, Circuit City died out, and physical travel agencies are scarce.
Of course, there’s one problem: e-commerce doesn’t work when you need a last minute item.
Here’s his stance:
“Retail guys are going to go out of business and ecommerce will become the place everyone buys. You are not going to have a choice. We’re still pre-death of retail, and we’re already seeing a huge wave of growth. The best in class are going to get better and better. We view this as a long term opportunity.
“…Retail chains are a fundamentally implausible economic structure if there’s a viable alternative. You combine the fixed cost of real estate with inventory, and it puts every retailer in a highly leveraged position. Few can survive a decline of 20 to 30 per cent in revenues. It just doesn’t make any sense for all this stuff to sit on shelves. There is fundamentally a better model.
“…I’d bet on the pure plays in ecommerce. Software eats retail.”