Brick And Mortar Retail is Bouncing Back – D Magazine

A classic Joni Mitchell lyric resulted in one of the most repeated quotes of the modern era: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.

When the pandemic curtailed dining and shopping, most of us missed the activities we used to consider everyday and ordinary, from eating inside a restaurant to going to a movie or getting a haircut.

Ian Pierce, Weitzman

In fact, the International Council of Shopping Centers surveyed consumers and asked what they missed most during the depths of the pandemic.  Around 72 percent of the respondents said they most missed going to restaurants and bars; a majority said they missed brick-and-mortar stores for non-essential goods (i.e., not groceries), and more than 40 percent said they missed movie theaters.

We’ve all heard the joke, how can I miss you if you don’t go away?

Well, when a lot of brick-and-mortar retail seemed off limits during the pandemic, the absence definitely made people appreciate it more.

Sure, people clicked ‘buy’ more often, increasing online sales in 2020.

But online shopping and boxes on the doorstep could not alleviate the isolating nature of the pandemic.

And, as evidenced by a lot of folks with ‘COVID hair,’ online couldn’t deliver a haircut to your door.

As vaccinations increase this year, and new cases fall dramatically, customer traffic is showing big increases.

For example, OpenTable said that Mother’s Day restaurant reservations were up 64 percent compared to pre-pandemic 2019. After more than a
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