Street Fight’s June Theme: Retail Recovery

This post is the latest in our “Retail Recovery” series. It will be an editorial focus for the month of June, and you can see the rest of the series here


Each of the past two months, choosing Street Fight’s monthly theme was a no-brainer. All we could think and write about was Covid-era topics and dynamics. For us, that meant covering the pandemic’s continued effect on local commerce. High-touch businesses have been the hardest hit, and that’s where local commerce lives.

Last month, this was so prominent in our collective mindset that we broke precedent and doubled down on the commerce & coronavirus theme, first launched in April. We even considered letting it roll for a third month. But after convening, the Street Fight council of elders decided to go in a different direction.

As the country starts to re-open and recover (some places more quickly than others), we’ll shift our focus to cover specifically how that’s happening. And what better vertical to represent local business recovery than retail? It will be a leading indicator for several other local commerce verticals.

So we introduce our June editorial theme: Retail Recovery. The goal: to chronicle the steps local businesses are taking to reemerge from locked doors and empty streets. Who’s doing what, and what can we learn from them? By “them” we mean businesses and the tech providers that support them.

In addition to recovery efforts, our coverage will continue to touch on the new perspectives business leaders are developing as a result of the current crisis. What realizations were gained from the creativity and resilience to survive? Among these, will any new tactics or operational efficiencies persist throughout the return to some version of normalcy?

For example, some existing and lingering technologies got their chance to shine in the past two months. We’re not talking about Zoom and Animal Crossing. We’re talking about streamlining retail operations. We’re talking order-ahead functionality, cashierless checkout, and curbside pickup.

From the consumer perspective, the trust and acclimation to shop differently — such as through curbside orders — has already become commonplace. Will that create new demand signals? Some technologies may inflect from this forced adoption and end up sticking with us permanently.

The irony is that this could save retail. The retailpocolyse that tore through the sector over the past few years hit the tech laggards hardest. Could forced tech adoption from a pandemic inadvertently and finally vault retailers into tech-savvy practices that give them a fighting chance against Amazon?

Of course, many aspects of the last two months will go away with good-riddance sentiments from all. But some could sustain, especially in retail. And by retail, we mean the broader category beyond department and big-box stores. We’ll cover innovations and shifting practices in grocery and QSR, too.

We’ll label posts on this topic so you can look out for them (see the preface and links at the opening of this article). We’ll also give you the chance to see them all at once. This is part of an ongoing editorial strategy aimed at helping you find our most pertinent content across monthly themes.

Reach out to us with suggestions for monthly themes, opportunities to contribute, and to amplify your brand messaging alongside this thematic coverage. On that note, we’re excited to also announce that we’ve launched the latest version of our media kit. Check it out, and come be part of our narrative.

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Mike Boland has been a tech & media analyst for the past two decades, specifically covering mobile, local and emerging technologies. He has written for Street Fight since 2011. More can be seen at www.mikebo.land