Microsoft, Zara, H&M, not to mention Starbucks, Eataly and Habitat are just some of the brands that have recently announced the definitive closure of a large number of high street shops in Italy and around the globe. A choice that, if in some cases is regrettably due to long periods of inactivity during the pandemic, for others it does not necessarily signal a crisis. Most of these brands, in fact, do not describe it as a downturn, but as a strategic move to put e-commerce at the forefront of their business in response to expressed customer preferences.
In the furnishings sector, the trend is striking. The health emergency has not dampened the desire or need to buy furniture. On the contrary, with the transformation of the home into a place to work, study and leisure time, the industry has also been stimulated in terms of profits. But the positive performance recorded by some is mainly thanks to online sales channels, which replaced the in-store shopping experience in the most critical months. Just think that online retail giant Wayfair, which was operating at a loss in 2019, reported sales of over $14 billion in 2020, up 55% on the previous year.