Traditional retail's woes appear likely to persist, analyst says

Lyne: Traditional retail is in crisis

Even though retail sales topped expectations, jumping 4 percent in November and December, traditional retail's problems aren't going away, said Susan Lyne, founder and president of BBG Ventures.

"I think [traditional retail] is in crisis in many ways," Lyne told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Friday.

"Look, there's this huge bubble of new consumers coming up, millennials, 75 million of them, who grew up with technology, who expect products and services to come to them. Amazon has had a huge impact on all of these retailers. Even when people do go into stores, they go back home to see whether they could buy it less expensively and get it shipped to them for free on Amazon."

The impact on retail by Amazon nothing new. Simeon Siegel, an equity retail analyst at Nomura Instinet, however, told CNBC that he believes direct-to-consumer brands like Ralph Lauren are also taking away from traditional retail

"A department store used to be very innovative in the sense that it brought together many, many brands. You could go to one store and see it all," Siegel said. "Well you can do the same thing now online, right?"

Despite massive consolidation at the top, where "the bigger keep getting bigger," he said, in some ways, getting into retail is easier than ever.

"[F]or smaller companies, barriers to entry are gone," Siegel said. "You don't have to spend an amazing amount of money to open up a store now, to create a brand. You can enter that world by buying a domain."

The slow demise of traditional retailers also has an impact on real estate.

"It's no question that that is going to impact mall operators or downtowns," Lyne said. "But in some cases, that may not be the worst thing. There are definitely areas in our city, for example, where the rents have gone up to such an extent that it's pushed out many, many great stores. It's a transition period. There will be opportunities that come out of this."

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