While big-box stores are figuring out how to integrate their online and physical operations, mom-and-pop shops are scrambling to create an online presence — and not just an informational website.
“It’s just the new normal,” said Tammy Schreiter, owner of Hazel General Store. “At this point, if you’re brick-and-mortar, you need to have an e-commerce site.”
Schreiter, who opened her Williamson Street gift shop in 2015, said the pandemic forced her to expand her online offerings from about 50 items to more than 400.
Though her business remains primarily brick-and-mortar, Schreiter said the website allows existing customers to conveniently purchase goods for pickup or to ship to friends, while enticing new customers to the store to see what else she has to offer.
Goodbye grocery pickers?
While you’ll still be able to get your groceries delivered — or pick them up outside the store — don’t expect to see pickers walking up and down the aisles filling online orders.
“That’s hugely inefficient,” Posen said.
Kroger just opened an automated warehouse in Ohio where robots retrieve goods from floor-to-ceiling shelves, which Posen said is more efficient than paying people to do it in a high-cost, low-density floor space where other customers are trying to shop.
Originally Appeared On: https://madison.com/wsj/business/post-pandemic-retail-whats-in-whats-out/article_e5667c87-4a10-5f6e-b42c-b4099f4ec8bf.html