The Pandemic Holiday Shopping Season Showed Us What The Future Of Retail Looks Like

Retailers that offered curbside pickup saw a 40% increase in demand for the service during the holiday season, according to a recent Adobe Analytics study. Already the pandemic was pumping up online sales for brick-and-mortar retailers that had curbside services, from 15% of all online sales at the onset of the pandemic to 25%, according to Adobe.

Fetch CEO Michael Patton is seeing increased business in online delivery stick into the new year. Fetch, which delivers packages to apartment residents in 15 major metro markets, including Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Houston, Chicago and Seattle, saw a 320% jump in package deliveries in December from the same time in 2019.

While that has much to do with the holiday shopping season, Patton told Bisnow package deliveries in January have simmered down some, but are still well above what the firm was delivering last year.

“The new floor of e-commerce volume is here to stay,” Patton said. “We haven’t seen it go back to pre-COVID numbers.”

Retail already was experiencing major weaknesses from a paradigm shift prior to COVID, with sales shifting in increments toward online transactions. But many have been slow to update their stores to reflect this new dynamic, which has been partly to blame for a wave of defaults among many of the mainstay retailers of yesteryear.

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