Industry News

Web mixes well with storefronts

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On Ashby Avenue in Berkeley, Calif., offers a bricks-and-mortars store where you can bring your stuff, much like an old consignment shop, and the firm will peddle it on eBay and handle all of the shipping and collection. The dream of the Internet as an end in itself has finally faded into the 1990s as smart companies blend clicks and bricks. For example, E-Loan began experimenting late last year with offline loan officers to deliver customers to its online mortgage platform. In retailing, mainstream companies are offering ways to pick up your order at stores. Both Best Buy and Circuit City allow you to order online, then come to the store to pick up the merchandise. The explosion of PDAs will certainly add to the marriage of clicks and bricks as consumers become even mobile with their computing – drive, browse and buy. The real estate angle is obvious, though not completely developed. Online listings, maps, open houses and electronic offers will be integrat...