In the second episode from season 2, hosts Eric Jaffe and Vanessa Quirk discuss the future of retail with author Mark Pilkington, social entrepreneur Sarah Filley, Sidewalk Labs’ Director of Development Carrie Jackson, and others.
Businesses are struggling to stay open everywhere in the world. In fact, most of them are in “survivor mode”, and so many have already closed because of different reasons, mainly being landlords, online competitors, and rents. These vacancies, according to the podcast, don’t just hurt store owners; but impact the vibrancy and community of a city itself.
Moreover, the existing system created vulnerable ground floors, “places that serve daily needs that act as community hangouts that are local institutions”. In fact, the root of the problem, contrary to the general belief, is more than the issue of e-commerce, it’s the business model of retail, a decline in sales due to the recent recession that people still didn’t recover from, and private equity, amongst others.
Through this podcast, the hosts talk about the future of retail, the heart of our cities, and the need to have a vision for what we want our urban dynamism to be like. They also present ideas that could help retailers and community members thrive, and create more active street life in the process.