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E-commerce isnt for everyone; theres still room for brick and mortar, Michigan retailers say [Video]

The Boston Tea Room has been a staple in Metro Detroit for 40 years, but as a business that relies on 90% of its services being in-person, the last year has left it on unstable ground.

The retail portion of the Tea Room includes loose leaf tea, crystals and candles, but the majority of its business comes from astrological readings, tarot card readings and palm readings, owner Heatherleigh Navarre said.

Prior to the pandemic, they added readings by phone, but it didn’t take off until COVID-19 shut down any in-person options, Navarre said.

Both staff size and revenue have suffered, she said. Reading services made up 50% of revenue but shrunk to 30% during the pandemic. Her staff of readers declined from 20 to 12.

There was an attempt to move operations online, but technical difficulties ended up costing more in staff time and training than the service itself, Navarre …

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Ecommerce

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