A growing number of merchants that started life as pure-play online retailers are expanding to brick-and-mortar shops. "Many people like to shop in bricks-and-mortar locations. There is the possibility of theatre and human interaction there - these things shouldn't be underestimated," said Simon Mottram, CEO of biking apparel retailer Rapha, which launched online in 2004 and has since opened stores in San Francisco, London, Osaka, New York and Sydney.

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