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Martha Stewart has a recipe for retailers: embrace e-commerce.
"Online is the future. Companies that took hold of those reigns and flew with it like Amazon, Wayfair, they are doing extremely well. Look at their stocks. I've invested in some of those companies, and I'm so happy I did because they are the future," Stewart told FOX Business.
A number of big-box retailers like J.C. Penney and Pier 1 Imports have filed for bankruptcy as a result of the pandemic. And while many are reopening stores as states loosen up lockdown restrictions, Stewart says she doesn't anticipate foot traffic will fully rebound any time soon.
"It's kind of sad to see big stores like J.C. Penney, Macy's closing down so many of their retail outlets, but are we really going to go into crowded stores in the future? Do we have to? Why not just shop online and spend the time that we've spent going into stores enjoying other things?" Stewart told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria" Wednesday.
The cookbook author and entrepreneur acknowledged launching a homeware collection in the middle of the COVID-19-induced economic downturn was a gamble, but with more people quarantined due to stay-at-home orders in place nationwide and stores closed, demand for work-from-home furniture like comfortable chairs, tables and ample closet space heightened.
"Are we really going to go into crowded stores in the future? Do we have to?"
"We started offering our collection right in the beginning of the pandemic, so it was kind of bad timing but also good timing. It's proven to be really successful. People have started to think about their homes again as the haven, and that has been very good for a business like Wayfair. We're going into housewares, lots of offerings and it ranges in price from access to a little bit more expensive," Stewart said.
Indeed, big companies like Google have given employees a stipend to purchase home-office furniture such as desks or monitors. What's more, Americans are seeking out DIY home projects on social media. Apartment Therapy, a lifestyle blog focused on home design and décor, has seen a 50 percent increase in "likes" on Instagram posts related specifically to home office settings and a spike in searches related to home office furniture for small spaces or new homes.
Stewart also discussed how meal kits -- like her own Martha & Marley Spoon and others like Blue Apron -- have made a significant comeback during the pandemic and may remain popular post-pandemic as more people maintain cooking habits.