It's been a long time since many of us have stepped inside an actual, physical retail store for anything other than essentials.
Across Canada, we're in different stages of reopening in a staggered, uncertain way. Many businesses have shuttered permanently. Some have filed for bankruptcy protection. Others are open, but with restrictions.
As e-commerce takes off amid the pandemic, how will smaller vendors compete against the online behemoths?
What will the in-store experience look like down the road? Will it change forever?
+ Craig Patterson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider, Canada's leading online retail industry publication. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the School of Retailing at the University of Alberta
+ Darryl Julott is the senior manager of Digital Main Street, a volunteer-driven group that wants to help independent businesses and artists build online stores free of charge. It's partnered with The City of Toronto and several tech companies to launch the "DMS ShopHERE" initiative.
+ Melissa Gonzalez is the CEO and founder of retail strategist group The Lion'esque Group, and also a principal and shareholder of global architecture firm MG2.