Brick And Mortar

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DEFINITION of 'Brick And Mortar'

A traditional "street-side" business that deals with its customers face to face in an office or store that the business owns or rents. The local grocery store and the corner bank are examples of "brick and mortar" companies. Brick and mortar businesses can find it difficult to compete with web-based businesses because the latter usually have lower operating costs and greater flexibility.

BREAKING DOWN 'Brick And Mortar'

It is increasingly common for brick and mortar companies to also have an online presence. For example, some brick and mortar grocery stores, such as the national Safeway chain, allow customers to shop for groceries online and have them delivered to their doorstep in as little as a few hours. However, some business types work best or work only in brick and mortar form, such as hair salons and veterinarians.

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