Dress pants optional

December 8, 2020 | Hamilton, Ontario
Contributed by Brent McKnight, Associate Professor, Strategic Management

Man working from home without dress pants


The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting consumer habits. Canadians developed an intense interest in baking in the early days of the crisis, leading to flour and yeast shortages. They bought less sunscreen in the absence of tropical vacations, and they are dressing down in sweatpants while working over Zoom.

These changing habits have a significant impact on independent, Main Street retailers, particularly during the holiday season. To adapt in 2021 and beyond, retailers need to strengthen their ability to connect with existing customers and capture new customers as habits change — perhaps permanently.

Read Dr. Brent McKnight’s article about his ongoing study on how independent retailers address the challenges they are currently facing in 2020 and beyond.

Dr. Brent McKnight

Dr. Brent McKnight

Associate Professor
Strategic Management

Dr. Brent McKnight studies how firms and organizations address complex societal problems. Throughout his work, Dr. McKnight is driven by a fascination both with how firms bounce back from substantial adversity and in the increasingly important role that firms play in building community-level resilience across a range of shocks and disturbances. Resilience plays an important role in his research when conceptualizing a firm’s pursuit of sustainability; resilience taps into the essence of what it is to be sustainable over long timelines.

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