Ashburton main street retailer Todds, established 100 years ago, is among those navigating a new future with more online shopping.
Retail NZ says up to 30 per cent of all spending could be online and some physical shops will disappear.
Todds, and sister shop Preen, are not going anywhere but they have pivoted their business and reached out online to a trusted and loyal client base in Mid Canterbury.
As clothing retailers, the businesses have been providing an essential service.
Sophie Preen said lockdown had pushed them into a new way of thinking and introduced new ways of working.
The stores now offered online shopping with free delivery or click and collect, local appro with contactless collection or home delivery and virtual browsing with help from a personal stylist via Zoom.
“We are people people, we love our customer contact, so it’s great to be back in this capacity.
“We have had such wonderful feedback during this testing time and being able to give a little happiness and help create stylist wardrobes is wonderful.”
Sophie said new stock had arrived prior to lockdown and customers had been buying a lot of casual comfort brands like Elm and Betty Basics.
She said virtual browsing was an online version of a personal styling service offered pre-covid. Customers can choose a time to talk to a stylist online.”Our virtual sessions are working with Zoom. I think everyone has been pushed into using these sorts of apps over lockdown and are much more open and tech-savvy than they ever were.”
The two stores employ seven staff in Ashburton and they are reporting an encouraging and supportive response from local shoppers.