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Click-to-Brick Phenomenon Finds E-tailers Opening Actual Stores

It doesn’t feel so long ago that brick-and-mortar retailers were rushing to develop online stores. Now that evolution often happens in reverse: Retailers start online and migrate to the real world, where customers can touch, taste, and try on their goodies.

That group includes eyewear maker Warby Parker, which opened a Manhattan storefront this spring, and fashion accessories startup BaubleBar, which has experimented with a variety of brick-and-mortar models to appeal to women for whom shopping is a social activity. There’s also Gap’s “online-only” brand, which (irony alert) opened a brick-and-mortar boutique last fall.

Custom shirt maker Proper Cloth is the latest to join the click-to-brick crowd with a SoHo showroom that opened in June. Founder Seph Skerritt says the startup needed a physical presence to establish its brand. “Our goal is to be a timeless menswear brand,” he says. “That’s a tough sell if you’re only online.”

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Keywords: retail supply chain, multichannel retailing, omnichannel retailing, merged channel logistics, value chain, logistics & supply chain

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