Brick and Mortar takes so many forms but the ultimate manifestation is the mall.
I grew up in the age of Mallrats and Clueless.
Who can forget Magic Eye (Hint: It’s not a sailboat) and Cher gathering her thoughts and finding sanctuary with retail therapy? The age where the stores you frequented could really define you as a person in the social strata that was middle school.
Malls had everything we could possibly ever need.
I’m sure I clocked hundreds of miles doing the circuit end to end. This was long before the first mp3 player was even a glimmer in someone’s eye, let alone smart phones that could tell me exactly how far I had walked. How did we even FIND our friends before every human capable of walking had a cellphone?
Right? The year is now 2014 and malls will never be what they once were. All of the needs we had as teens are now met digitally. Teenage awkwardness is so much easier to handle if we can script our online life. Hanging with friends has been usurped by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. We can display our love for Backstreet Boys via our Tumblr rather than buying Bop or Tiger Beat. (It’s digitized now anyway).
Brick and Mortar dies in the news seemingly every day but yet there are stores that continue to thrive despite the ubiquity and ease of digital commerce. For every Best Buy destroyed by Amazon there are stores that thrive because they provide customers with an experience or benefit that can’t be met in the digital world.
Think every coffee shop offering free wifi, bike stores offering coffee, or coffee stores with in-store DJs.
Of course, you would be hard-pressed to find a business nowadays that is not online. No matter what you sell it’s virtually a mandate that you have some sort of digital presence. That being said there are a ton of businesses selling products that I would have a very hard time purchasing online.