There has been a seismic shift of bricks-and-mortars retailers onto the web over the last decade, with almost every major player now at some level offering clicks-and-bricks capabilities.
With a few exceptions, there has been relatively little traffic the other way – of pure play online retailers opening up physical stores.
In recent months this has begun to change, with an increasing number of online businesses investigating the potential of some form of physical presence.
For a long time pureplay retailers have decried the costs, inflexibility and limitations of physical stores, preferring the infinite SKUs, distribution and low costs of a pure web model.
However, as physical retailers have begun to combine on- and offline models in more innovative ways the potential of a mixed format model has become more and more attractive.