Financo Retail seminar

The question of how to balance virtual stores with bricks and mortar stores is a thorny one, with various theories fighting for dominance. Some say it’s all going virtual and point to the search for value (see the FT today, and the report on shoppers deserting the High Street for home pages), while others say things need to be felt to be appreciated, and point to the recent Zappos debacle as something that will also drive people back into stores (see many luxury executives). The only thing that’s clear is the lack of consensus on best strategy going forward, something that was brought home to me pretty tangibly thanks to two recent bits of information I stumbled onto.

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Today my colleague Andrew Hill has written a column about the controversy surrounding internet suffixes — and the companies that exploit them — and reading it I felt a startling sense of deja vue. Yesterday I was at a Financo Retail Seminar listening to Chris Burch bemoan the exact same issue, though from a somewhat different perspective, and in somewhat more colourful language.

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