The pandemic is back in the headlines, casting a long shadow on a battered retail industry.
But, consumer spending remains robust. That’s the good news. Even better news: this year there has been, and is forecasted to continue, heavy investing by retailers in brick and mortar, especially by online merchants.
The mall may be dead (or being repurposed into an Amazon distribution center), but the strip center is alive and well.
The reasons are many. Among them: open-air center rents have come down; customer acquisition costs online have gotten so expensive that physical stores are a better use of capital and a more effective branding tool; and the lingering pandemic has made shoppers wary of large indoor venues.
The most common reason given by digital-native retailers is that while online shopping is convenient, it isn’t personal. So, these retailers are hitting the bricks, coming to a neighborhood near you.