Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A peek into the death of retail

No returns
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram

This is what I imagine it would look like when brick-and-mortar retail ends.

Except I don't have to imagine it, because the mall where I come across this scene is filled with empty storefronts just like this one.

It's easy to conclude that the pandemic has played at least some role in this - and to a certain that's true. But let's get real: this was an industry in decline long before anyone even knew what a coronavirus was. The pandemic simply accelerated the process.

I can write volumes about what it'll take for hybrid retailers to survive and thrive in this new landscape, and how intelligent applications of the disruptive technologies that helped empty out this space can help other businesses find a way forward.

But on this day, all I can do is take a picture of what it looks like when people cling to the old ways for longer than they should.

It just feels so sad. Hence the photo.

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