In regards to the editorial “Seattle needs strong retail downtown” [Sept. 20, Opinion], we respectfully submit that you have the cart ahead of the horse.

Retail is a mirror of society. And retail follows the customers. Wherever there are sufficient potential customers, retailers will be there — and in a hurry.

For downtown Seattle, the next wave of retail will be different from what was here in 2019 and before. In-city living needs a different kind of retail than that serving daytime office workers.

As national retail strategists, we’re watching other cities grappling with this issue. Retailers for downtown Seattle are poised on the sidelines, waiting for the people to arrive.

Patricia M. Johnson and Richard F. Outcalt, Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC, Seattle