Blog Series
Jessie Dowd
Editorial Director | profile
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This March marks the two-year anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic. It was March 11, to be precise. I remember shopping nervously in my local grocery store after work that night, filling my cart high with food for the uncertain weeks ahead. Shelves were already being wiped out of canned foods, rice, pasta, frozen foods and, of course, toilet paper. The anxiety permeating the aisles was palpable. What began as a “two-week lockdown” turned into a much longer nightmare than many of us could have comprehended (or accepted) at the time.

Fast-forward two years into the pandemic, and we are finally seeing some hope and a return to more “normal” times that we’ve all been longing for. With this positive turn comes many things, like socializing with more friends and family, traveling, dining out and a return to shopping in-store. We share part 1 of our latest research that examines “The Evolution of the In-Store Shopping Experience,” and what that means for brands and retailers as more and more shoppers return to physical stores across most categories. Although fielded during the midst of the omicron variant wave, our survey respondents indicated that they were still shopping in-store, although the experience left something to be desired. (In part 2 coming in the May/June edition of the magazine, we’ll dive into the nitty gritty of which components of the in-store experience are engaging shoppers the most, including what’s driving their impulse purchases.)

This spring’s good news also brings with it a ramped-up return to in-person events for the retail industry. Considering that March 11, 2020, didn’t just mark the beginning of the pandemic, but also the last time many of us (myself included) worked in a corporate office, the return to in-person events brings even more excitement (our very own Future Forward conference takes place May 16-19 in Chicago).

In-person events represent a chance to reconnect face-to-face, outside of a Zoom square on a screen, with colleagues and old friends. It’s the chance to meet new industry connections IRL. It’s the energy in a room that comes from a live audience with a dynamic speaker on stage. It’s learning, sharing, discovering and discussing new ideas together.

And then, of course, there’s the whole “wearing something other than sweatpants” side to it. The past two years, my remote work attire has been somewhat of a mullet: business on the top, cozy lounge party on the bottom. I have an entire closet of fun dresses, pants and fabulous shoes (So. Many. Shoes.) that have not seen the light of day in far too long. I can’t wait to reintroduce them to society!

So, in honor of returning to in-person events — and also returning to so many other things we once held dear — I hope you’ll join me in my campaign to #burnthesweatpants! Perhaps we’ll do a little bonfire at Future Forward.


More Blog Posts In This Series

  • New Year, New Stuff

    By the time you read the January/February issue of Path to Purchase IQ in early February, many of you may have already forgotten about your New Year’s resolutions.
    p2piq book club
  • Honored to Honor

    We are thrilled to dedicate a large chunk of our final issue of 2021 to showcase the winners of our annual Women of Excellence Awards and the inaugural OmniShopper Awards.
    p2piq jessie dowd
  • A Reason to Paws

    This month, we dive into the pet care industry and some standout trends that pet products manufacturers should have on their radars as they prepare to meet the increased demand and anticipate the emerging needs of pet parents and their furry offspring. 
    a dog on a leash