This is an interesting question, and with the rapid adoption of the Internet in the wake of the pandemic, none of us are entirely sure what the fate of brick-and-mortar specialty shops is moving forward. This isn’t something that is going to stop progressing nor accelerating after the end of the pandemic, either. We now have to adapt to this adaptation, and the future is going to be wild no matter how we slice it. As for shopping online, though, I would say that certain brick-and-mortar experiences are not going to go away.
There are certain experiences that require a location for people to meet at. Bowling alleys, restaurants, live theater, certain shopping experiences are all going to be valued even when most shopping and socializing is done in a more relaxed an online way. As for visiting a bong shop near me? I still do that, I still support local glassblower’s, because bongs made by glassblowers aren’t just smoking accessories, they are works of art, and art will always have a prominent place in society if I have anything to do with it.
But here’s the thing. They are works of art, and that means there also one-of-a-kind. The more you handle and use something, the higher the chances become of it breaking something. So, I keep another high-quality bong around made by a manufacturer rather than an artisan. This is still an attractive, lab quality piece of glass, with the best quality brass and stainless steel fittings and so forth. But I don’t pay a fortune for it, because I buy them online. They are hard to break, and they are very easy to clean and take care of, and they still look nice just in a different way than artistic bongs and other handblown glass.
When it does break, though, it isn’t a one-of-a-kind thing, and I can just order parts or entire new rigs online. I can get those at the bong shop near me too, but I have a wider selection online where there aren’t limited shelf spaces for product and companies can afford to price things very competitively due to the absence of brick-and-mortar overhead.
It is this kind of mentality that I think will apply to a lot of brick-and-mortar retail in the future. Retail specifically, there will always be specific places the people might need to run into a shop, or want to run into and shop. However, most people will, when things are business as usual, just order their product from that store and either pick it up or have it delivered. Browsing shelves will be a leisurely thing by choice rather than a de facto way to handle any kind of shopping down the line.
This will be a more leisurely, calm her retail culture, at least on the physical plane. It’ll be interesting to see, and a lot of retailers are already gearing up to focus on that, such as Shisha Glass, the futuristic one-stop shop for bongs online as well as other excellent smoking accessories.