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Shopping malls were in turn threatened by the arrival of discount chains and big box retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, and so on. As the landscape reshaped and reformed, shoppers’ expectations adapted and evolved and online retailing began. Eventually, this too morphed into what we now know as omnichannel retailing—a single seamless omnichannel customer experience with retailers interacting with their customers in-store, in-app, and online.
In 2020, catastrophe hit: the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crashed the economy and placed an overwhelming toll on jobs and businesses. And once again, retail businesses were disrupted and the landscape once again had to morph into something new and, as yet, largely undefined. Even so, contactless shopping, modern customer engagement technologies, and other digital transformation initiatives are all expected to be integral parts of this new landscape.