Yes, I know Wausau is in Wisconsin, but this Wall Street Journal article seems both locally important and interesting, and Wisconsin seems close enough to Minnesota right now.
Check out this chart, showing growth in online retail in Wausau, Wisconsin, and the US:
One big takeaway is that people seem to like small, local businesses, and going downtown. Here’s a quote from the piece:
The numbers back up Ms. Magnuson’s experience. Based on data from payments processor Square Inc., sales at small-business sellers in Wausau that use its system rose 35% over the past year while the number of sellers remained constant. That shows “just how much these small businesses are thriving,” according to Square.
Mike Fondow said he can’t remember the last time he went to a mall. The 33-year-old computer-network specialist split this year’s Christmas shopping between online for an electric blanket and car floor mats, and locally owned shops for books and fermented black garlic. His favorite find was a sampler of Wisconsin-sourced teas for his mom, which he picked up at a farmers market.
“I like supporting the local businesses, and the downtown has more unique shops,” Mr. Fondow said.
I was at the Mall of America the other day to try and find a MN UFC scarf. One of the few places to get one was the RAAS pop-up “local market.” That stands for “Retail as a Service” for some reason (?!), but the little place was thriving.
Imagine if you could shop at local businesses in walkable urban areas? It’s theoretically possible.