During the dot com boom of the early 00’s, the death of brick and mortar retail locations was forecast, and for some market segments, that came true. But then there was a bit or a resurgence, with Apple being an example of rethinking an in-person retail experience.
Covid-19 has changed everything, and while many articulate a wish for a return to “normal,” odds are society will need to find a new normal that may be radically different than before. One data point – Microsoft, which followed Apple into the retail space, has announced that they are permanently closing their customer-facing locations. They will move to a virtual sales model (though presumably still be available through partners like Best Buy). Apple has closed stores (again) in locations with virus outbreaks, and it will be interesting to see if Apple at some point follows Microsoft’s path on the retail front.