Convergence of the retail kind: The human touch

SARAH TARRAF | August 17, 2018

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It's an all too common occurrence in the news: well-established companies downsizing or shuttering stores that can't compete with the expedience and pricing of the rising class of etailers. Though media and entertainment companies were first on the scene with a click-and-collect model, the digital movement has caused a fever pitch across the apparel, consignment, household goods, grocery, and pet care industries leaving a trail of traditional brick-and-mortar retailers in its wake. However, opportunity exists to reshape this reality. While closures are a consequence of digital giants and start-ups alike, they're also exacerbating the problem. When brick-and-mortar stores close their doors, they relinquish their very advantage of the retail experience and the environments they cultivate. Harkening back to dime stores in small-town America and village squares in Italy, merchants thrive on face-to-face interactions with their customers. It instills a sense of community and reciprocity that builds lifelong loyalty. Beyond the importance of human connection, the tangible aspects of shopping often lead to an almost visceral sense of gratification and reward for customers.

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