Richard Talbot, amongst others, has been sounding the alarm about the rise in commercial vacancies and the rise in online shopping taking place. What we see is that Sidney and many other communities are not immune to it.
If you were a retailer, and were paying rent at a shop as well as paying rent or mortgage on a place to live, and you found out about a way for your customers to still continue to buy your products without you having to pay rent at a retail location, why on earth would you continue to pay two rents?
A look at how more “primitive cultures” operate is that most retail locations are, in fact, the home of the business owner/ operator. Here in North America we realized that we could control how land was used, but we forgot to ask the question, should we control land use? We know that we are a complex and adaptive species ,and the rise in tech-related retail is at least a partial result of our insistence on controlling how land is used.
The way to ensure a business district be resistant to being overtaken by tech is to seriously rethink our zoning/parking laws, and ask what parts of them are hindering us and what we need to alter to ensure that the businesses that operate in our communities are able to exist in a sustainable manner, either with or without tech.