The Resurrection of Retail

Buying online became even more of a utility during the pandemic. But for some, IRL exchanges will always beat clicking a button.

In the eyes of some experts, the coronavirus pandemic was poised to deal the final blow to the already crumbling brick-and-mortar-retail industry. Since the early days of quarantine, millions of consumers have opted for the safety and ease of online shopping—and from 2019 to 2021, e-commerce sales grew by 50 percent. Many physical stores, however, languished. Yet as Americans have gradually returned to stores over the past year, people have rediscovered the intrinsic thrills of selecting a pristine tomato or feeling the luxe texture of a sweater while perusing through clothing racks. Shopper sentiment is trending toward in-person retail: The percentage of shoppers who feel comfortable going to malls, according to one survey, is close to a two-year high. It turns out that no matter how much time and effort people may save by online shopping, some of us will always prefer the sensations that come with buying goods in a physical store. Read more at The Atlantic.