Bricks And Mortar
Brick and mortar (also bricks and mortar or B&M) is an organization or business with a physical presence in a building or other structure. The term brick-and-mortar business is often used to refer to a company that possesses or leases retail shops, factory production facilities, or warehouses for its operations. More specifically, in the jargon of e-commerce businesses in the 2000s, brick-and-mortar businesses are companies that have a physical presence (e.g., a retail shop in a building) and offer face-to-face customer experiences.
bricks and mortar
This term is usually used to contrast with a transitory business or an Internet-only presence, such as fully online shops, which have no physical presence for shoppers to visit, talk with staff in person, touch and handle products and buy from the firm in person. However, such online businesses normally have non-public physical facilities from which they either run business operations (e.g., the company headquarters and back office facilities), and/or warehouses for storing and distributing products. Concerns such as foot traffic, storefront visibility, and appealing interior design apply to brick-and-mortar businesses rather than online ones. An online-only business needs to have an attractive, well-designed website, a reliable e-commerce system for payment, a good delivery or shipping service and effective online marketing tactics to drive web traffic to the site. Governments are also adopting e-government approaches, which is the use of online services for citizens to enable them to fill out government forms, pay tax bills and register for government programs online; these services aim to cut bricks and mortar costs (building leasing/purchase and staff costs) and improve services to citizens (by offering 24/7 access to information and services).
The name is a metonym derived from the traditional building materials associated with physical buildings: bricks and mortar, however, it is applicable to all stores with a physical storefront, not just those built out of bricks and mortar. The term was originally used by 19th century American novelist Herman Melville in the book Moby Dick (chapter 96). The term brick-and-mortar businesses is also a retronym, in that most shops had a physical presence before the advent of the Internet. The term is also applicable in a pre-Internet era, when contrasting businesses with physical retail presence with those that operated strictly in an order-by-mail capacity pre-Internet.
The history of brick and mortar businesses cannot be dated precisely, but it existed in the earliest vendor stalls in the first towns (as early as 7500 BC), where merchants brought their agricultural produce, clay pots and handmade clothing to sell in a village market. Bricks and mortar businesses remain important in the 2010s, though many shops and services, ranging from consumer electronics shops to clothing shops and even grocery shops have begun offering online shopping. This physical presence, either of a retail shop, a customer service location with staff, where clients can go in person to ask questions about a product or service, or a service center or repair facility where customers can bring their products, has played a crucial role in providing goods and services to consumers throughout history.
Products may be out stock in relatively small brick and mortar retail stores and due to limited space in small business retail stores, these establishments may only be able to carry a few types of each product. Online shops are able to have a huge amount of stock in numerous large warehouses (e.g., Amazon.com has warehouses in numerous locations from which it ships its products) which it can quickly ship out. An online store may be able to order up products from a large number of geographically dispersed warehouses, even warehouses owned and operated by third parties (e.g., smaller companies), which are connected to the large company via the Internet.
These online government services aim at two goals: reducing costs to governments and improving client service. By offering these services and information online, governments save money, because they do not have to offer as many bricks and mortar client service centers where citizens can come and fill in these forms and pay government bills. Governments offering e-services can also operate with less civil servants and thus less salary and benefits costs, as the citizens using online services are generally doing all of the administrative tasks (e.g., downloading a form, filling in a form, looking up guidance in an online "help" manual, paying fees) themselves using their home computer. E-government services also improve service for citizens who have access to a computer, Internet and an online payment method (e.g., a credit card or PayPal), because these citizens are not limited by the 9 am-5 pm or 8 am-4 pm business hours of most physical government offices, and citizens do not have to incur the costs of transportation (e.g., bus tickets, gas, parking, etc.) associated with going to a bricks and mortar location. Nevertheless, government e-services do not help all citizens, due to the digital divide; citizens who are in poverty, who are homeless or who live in rural or remote regions may not have access to high speed Internet. These citizens, as well as those who are not comfortable with computers or those who do not understand how to use them, which in practice means elderly people, are not able to benefit from e-services.
Brick-and-mortar stores have an average return rate of 8.9%, compared to around 30% for online stores. This may be because it is harder to inspect online goods before purchasing, or because"}},"@type": "Question","name": "How Many Brick-and-Mortar Stores Are There in the US?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "There are just over a million retail establishments in the United States. As of 2020, the exact number was 1,045,422.","@type": "Question","name": "What Is Brick-and-Mortar Banking?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Brick-and-mortar banking refers to the practice of depositing and borrowing money through online banking applications or websites, compared to visiting a branch in person. Many retail banks are now eliminating some of their branches to provide more services by mail, telephone, or on the web."]}]}] Investing Stocks Bonds Fixed Income Mutual Funds ETFs Options 401(k) Roth IRA Fundamental Analysis Technical Analysis Markets View All Simulator Login / Portfolio Trade Research My Games Leaderboard Economy Government Policy Monetary Policy Fiscal Policy View All Personal Finance Financial Literacy Retirement Budgeting Saving Taxes Home Ownership View All News Markets Companies Earnings Economy Crypto Personal Finance Government View All Reviews Best Online Brokers Best Life Insurance Companies Best CD Rates Best Savings Accounts Best Personal Loans Best Credit Repair Companies Best Mortgage Rates Best Auto Loan Rates Best Credit Cards View All Academy Investing for Beginners Trading for Beginners Become a Day Trader Technical Analysis All Investing Courses All Trading Courses View All TradeSearchSearchPlease fill out this field.SearchSearchPlease fill out this field.InvestingInvesting Stocks Bonds Fixed Income Mutual Funds ETFs Options 401(k) Roth IRA Fundamental Analysis Technical Analysis Markets View All SimulatorSimulator Login / Portfolio Trade Research My Games Leaderboard EconomyEconomy Government Policy Monetary Policy Fiscal Policy View All Personal FinancePersonal Finance Financial Literacy Retirement Budgeting Saving Taxes Home Ownership View All NewsNews Markets Companies Earnings Economy Crypto Personal Finance Government View All ReviewsReviews Best Online Brokers Best Life Insurance Companies Best CD Rates Best Savings Accounts Best Personal Loans Best Credit Repair Companies Best Mortgage Rates Best Auto Loan Rates Best Credit Cards View All AcademyAcademy Investing for Beginners Trading for Beginners Become a Day Trader Technical Analysis All Investing Courses All Trading Courses View All Financial Terms Newsletter About Us Follow Us Facebook Instagram LinkedIn TikTok Twitter YouTube Table of ContentsExpandTable of ContentsWhat Is Brick-and-Mortar?Understanding Brick-and-MortarSalesExampleTypesAdvantages and DisadvantagesAdaptationsBrick-and-Mortar FAQsThe Bottom LineBusinessBusiness EssentialsBrick-and-Mortar Stores: Types, Advantages, and DisadvantagesByChris B. Murphy Full Bio LinkedIn Chris B. Murphy is an editor and financial writer with more than 15 years of experience covering banking and the financial markets. Learn about our editorial policiesUpdated September 18, 2022Reviewed byAmy Drury Reviewed byAmy DruryFull BioAmy is an ACA and the CEO and founder of OnPoint Learning, a financial training company delivering training to financial professionals. She has nearly two decades of experience in the financial industry and as a financial instructor for industry professionals and individuals.Learn about our Financial Review BoardFact checked by 041b061a72