The last decade showed a strong trend of companies racing towards the digital marketplace. Amazon lead the way, but it — and others — are now doing an about-face. Digital retailers are feverishly trying to move their influence from online to brick and mortar stores. Amazon recently bought Whole Foods in an attempt to couple their online stores with local responsiveness.

This trend has been seen by other companies, like glasses retailer Warby Parker who began online with an aggressive business model designed to sell glasses to people who want fashionable eyewear, but avoid the chaos of in-store shopping. Now, they are buying physical locations to couple with their online business model.

Amazon and Warby Parker are not the only businesses heading in this direction. Retailers like VistaPrintAthletaand others are now seeing the value of providing physical stores for a fuller consumer experience as well as increased purchasing options. What we are now learning is that shopping is much more than simply buying things. Shopping is an experience. Studies have shown shopping can even relieve the stresses of everyday life, commonly known as retail therapy. A University of Michigan study found shopping was up to 40 times more effective at giving people a sense of control, and help relieve sadness.

When someone shops online, it is efficient and effective, but there are drawbacks. First off and obviously, shopping online — unless coupled with local physical stores — requires some patience for delivery. Even the swiftest methods require an overnight wait. This is usually combined with extra cost for shipping and particularly expedited shipping.

When you go to a shopping center, you can simply buy and have. No waiting or added cost for shipping required. You can also try on that pair of gloves or jacket you’ve been eyeing. Something you can’t do online. And, as Ramy Eidi likes to say, until you can get a haircut online, neighborhood shopping centers are here to stay.

We at Eidi Properties are confident that the need for physical shopping hubs will not only survive, but will thrive, even in this digital world. Therefore, we are committed to maintaining locations that provide people with quality shopping in aesthetic buildings and at convenient locations. These physical locations not only provide an enjoyable shopping experience, but create valuable local jobs.

Shopping centers create value to the community and can provide a hub for activities. Local organizations, like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America often fund-raise in these plazas. Voter registration, petitions and other community involvement activities can take advantage of the congregation of people from all age ranges and backgrounds to advance community interests. All of these things are unique to a physical experience.

Eidi Properties understands that shopping is more than buying. It is an opportunity to connect with people, experience the newest products and compare physically before you buy. We feel that we help facilitate this modern understanding of the shopping adventure and we are proud to provide excellent locations that help people enjoy their shopping experience.

As shoppers expand their purchasing practice, we will be here to provide quality structures and facilities to accommodate these evolving needs, including haircuts.

This post was written by Jerry Mooney.