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Retail roadmap inspires creative approaches for downtowns

Main Street America released a retail roadmap in December 2019, and the title sums it up: "The Future of Retail: Creative Approaches to Place-Based Entrepreneurship."

With retail moving away from brick-and-mortar establishments, this report offers a vision for adapting with more experiential environments. In place of traditional downtown retail, you might find entrepreneurial start-ups, local products and services, and spaces selling experiences and social connections, according to the authors.

Examples are not hard to come by. Witness the boom in escape rooms and wine-and-paint parties. The report describes a variety of immersive businesses around the country, as well as makerspaces and temporary installations.

A useful retail audit tool is included to test whether your community (or your business) is meeting these new expectations.

The retail roadmap is free at

Main Street report