Friday June 05, 2020 |Notes

When stores become warehouses

In cities and towns across the country, retail stores and restaurants have transformed into warehouses. With new regulations on how to conduct business in light of the coronavirus pandemic, stores have since boarded up in response to protests and many appear ready to continue operating in that manner.

It's highly-doubtful that most local businesses were going to thrive in the months ahead. When window shopping is gone, customers are made to wait at the door, and most ordering is done online, the storefront no longer has much to do with the transaction other than for the actual delivery of goods.

There is some value to the convenience of picking up local. For most businesses, there's not enough additional value added to overcome the high overhead of premium rental rates, increased insurance costs, and seemingly additional risk. When some businesses go under, the situation will get worse for all but a few final winners.

It's not an encouraging sign for local retail. The fear is palpable and the effects become self-perpetuating. Find the positive. Make moves that will work in the future rather than expect a return to the past.

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