Vanity Fair asked Oscar de la Renta years ago, “what was his favorite purchase”? The answer is spot on, “well, of course, my last purchase.” I get it.
What is it about the allure of retail therapy? Many of my favorite stores have closed, and I have found a few things on Instagram, which were all stupid purchases, and have been shopping online, but I have spent too much time at UPS returning most of it. None of this has been ideal.
There is something extremely thrilling about walking into a store, trying something on, or just browsing, and then if the moons align, walking out with a shopping bag with your latest purchase. Admittingly, it puts a smile on my face.
Yes, something new to enjoy, experience, and be part of my life. Ends up, I am not the only one. New data from the U.S. government show that physical stores beat online shopping in 2021. It has been undoubtedly the weirdest past two years, but the pandemic accelerated everything. All data pointed to this, but a pandemic showed much about human behavior.
Consumer technology is as familiar as binging on a series. For kids of today, the phones that connect them to the world at large and are extensions of themselves. It is a fluid piece of hardware connecting to friends, shows, shopping, media, and information. Perhaps too much information.
We are winding down the pandemic. It appears that masks will be done entirely very soon. It is already taking place. Many with PTSD out there, but many have jumped on the bandwagon after multiple vaccinations, getting Omi, and you realize that you might get sick, but you won’t die.
Retail has needed to change for so long it is mind-boggling. The large retailers never figured out the online component until much later in the game with zero creativity. Their stores feel like the past.
E-commerce is great, but it is not a panacea. People want to shop, interact, put down their phones, breathe in the air, and not return to the frenzied days of the past. Physical stores are winning the dollars and customers against e-commerce.
I am excited to watch the winners, losers, and, most important, the new kids on the block change in-person retail.