I have a surprise for some of you. Despite what you might hear and read, retail is not dead. Not nationally, and definitely not in Licking County.

Ecommerce has, certainly, changed the way we shop. I receive emails and texts every day offering “door busters”, “online specials” and “internet exclusives.” Yes, I shop online. But nothing can convince me that brick-and-mortar retail is dead. Why? Because humans do not just shop to get stuff – at least not any more than we go to restaurants purely for nutrition. I think we shop or choose to go “shopping” to fulfill other deeper needs – the need to disconnect, to socialize and commune, and enjoy the experience of being out in public. We shop to interact, not just to “interface!”

As a young girl, I can remember looking forward to Saturday. Saturday was the day my mom, three sisters and Grandma would go shopping. We’d all pile in the car, enjoy lunch out and stop at various stores. We’d walk in to Carol’s Department Store and I can still remember the perfumes, the music, shiny jewelry and seasonal merchandise. You could smell it, touch it, see it – it was an experience and it is a lasting memory. That’s something retail, and our local Licking County retailers, continues to deliver. Interpersonal experiences.

The movement towards consumer “experience” is a growing…