WJR Business Beat: Brick-and-Mortar Retail Is Here to Stay (Episode 421)

On today’s Business Beat, Jim Bieri of SBRE tells Jeff Sloan that brick-and-mortar retail “will continue to evolve and in-person retailing is here to stay and it’s to be enjoyed and treasured.”

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Jeff Sloan: Good morning, Paul. Well, as you know, I do a little morning show now every morning on WJR from 5 to 6 a.m. leading right up to your show. Paul. And a couple of days ago, we featured an interview I did with Jim Bieri of SBRE Stokas Bieri Real Estate. And Jim shared his expertise and wisdom with us on why brick and mortar is not dead, Paul. So many prognosticated that the retail apocalypse was upon us, but oh no, right, Jim?

Jim: Well, you know, retail is not dead. We’re back to sales and traffic, pre-pandemic levels. What’s most interesting is people think that the Internet killed retail. Guess what the Internet sales are today? Ten to 15%.

Jeff: People like going into stores and interacting with a store owner or associate who can help them, guide them and just have personal interaction with, right?

Jim: You know, there’s no question about the personal interaction is key to a specialty retailer success. There’s little question for all of us that live in small communities like Plymouth and Grosse Pointe and Rochester. You know, those downtowns are vibrant places for people to meet. It’s not just retail, it’s a place where people interact. You can have a restaurant, you can have festivals. You’re going to have parades. And those places don’t exist without those small retailers, you know, the buzzword is omnichannel. Consumers want speed, they want choices and they also want good value. I would just say that as we look forward to innovation, retail will continue to evolve and in-person retailing is here to stay and it’s to be enjoyed and treasured.

Jeff: There you have it, Paul. Brick and mortar isn’t going away as had been predicted. Paul, I know you love a good local bookstore, maybe a lunch on Main Street, and I do, too. Let’s all make sure we support our local retailers whenever we can in order to keep our hard-earned dollars in our local communities and keep that one-of-a-kind Main Street America experience alive and well. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.


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