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[Slashdot] - Online-only Platforms Are Going Offline With Permanent Spaces

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An anonymous reader shares a report: The retailpocalypse started in 2010. It followed the 2008 global recession, with the parallel birth and rise of social media adding fuel to the growth of online shopping. Suburban and rural malls sat empty, underutilized or poorly maintained as the most affected brands lost their customer base in the squeezed middle class. Meanwhile, online retailers thrived without the overhead costs of a physical space. Nearly a decade later, the online-only platforms that disrupted retail are choosing to pay rent as an additional, unnecessary expense. There are items available for purchase in each space, but the stores' ultimate goal is to offer a tangible experience offline to their users or consumers. Hunker describes itself as an editorial website to help "first-timers improve their homes -- with inspiring tours, practical solutions and design advice for real people." Shopify is an all-in-one commerce platform where users can start and run an online business, facilitating 820,000 online stores since June 2019. Depop calls itself "the creative community's marketplace" and projects that its existing user base will increase threefold over the next three years, from 5 million to 15 million users. In the last two years, each company has added a physical space that isn't exactly a store and isn't really an office, though they definitely borrow aspects of each. Hunker's space, known as Hunker House, is a three-story loft in the Abbot-Kinney neighborhood of Venice, CA. Shopify opened a 1,600 square foot location in downtown Los Angeles' The Row, and Depop's two community spots are in Little Italy, Manhattan, and Silver Lake, LA.

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