This story is from the 2015 Access 25. Explore more from this issue

Clicks Before Bricks

“E-commerce first” is the new mantra.

January 2015


Fifteen years ago, a generation of dot-coms flamed out by trying to sell everything from pet food to fashion items to couches online. While the sock puppet remains in mothballs, a host of brick-and-mortar retailers are embracing e-commerce–first strategies. Perhaps the biggest case in point: The Home Depot, which recently announced that it’s pulling back on physical store openings and plowing $1.5 billion into an e-commerce initiative. Other retailers — in categories as diverse as mattresses, flooring products, and eyewear — have taken similar leaps.

All adds up to further evidence that consumers now feel comfortable buying practically anything online and that retailing is blurring into a single cross-channel model.

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