On a recent business trip to the picturesque city of Boston I had the morning off and decided to hit the streets. I was amazed at how dead quiet all the stores were. Two hours in I couldn’t keep my curiosity at bay and started talking to shop staff running the higher end stores on Newbury Street. Every single piece of feedback was some variation of “people just prefer buying online these days”. I’m not talking about music and bookstores – they’re long gone. We’re talking high end clothing (Kate Spade, Ermenegildo Zegna, Ralph Lauren), grocers (niche and normal)… even bakeries. Businesses where you would bet your life people would prefer buying in-store. The frustration was obvious as commissioned in-store staff were merely running a showroom for the brand’s online store.