The term brick and mortar refers to business that have a physical base of operations (as opposed to those that run purely online).
Many companies do not have a physical offices. Online businesses can thrive without the physical office. Brick and mortar businesses, on the other hand, have physical premises where customers may transact business face to face.
Brick and mortar businesses have some advantages over purely online businesses. Many people still prefer to interact with humans face to face. While technology has provided us with a lot of conveniences – like doing business without having to leave one’s chair – there is still something different about dealing and interacting with fellow human beings. That is an added plus for some people.
Another advantage of having a brick and mortar business is that some people believe that businesses with an actual base of operations which they can visit are more stable. While this may not always be true, it still serves to attract customers to brick and mortar businesses.
On the other hand, brick and mortar businesses have disadvantages, too. Since this kind of business needs a physical location, it also needs more people to conduct transactions. This also means that there will be other expenses such as rent and utilities. In short, overhead and operating expenses are higher for brick and mortar businesses.
Many bigger business have both brick and mortar locations and online websites, for example, banks. This helps customers maximize their presences with their customers.