Is Camel the New Black? Can Off-line be the New On-line?

This week Zara became the latest retailer to add an online store to its operation, committing to serving six major markets across Europe. With an online presence already established through Facebook groups and iPhone apps the project should be a sure-fire success. However, it was with online innovation in mind that I was struck by an intriguing concept recently developed by a local independent in the Home Counties.

The independent retailer I refer to has put together a model that draws strong parallels from online marketplaces such as eBay,  but taps into the issues of existing as a purely web-based business. The second-hand shop provides the physical retailing space for sellers to display their unwanted items and in return the store takes a commission on the sale of the goods. It appears the model is proving relatively successful with consumers responding to a number of significant factors that differentiate it from online counterparts – among others; quality control, reassurance of a physical retail entity, immediacy of purchase, single location convenience, tangible browsing. I’ve heard a lot about how the development of online retail can benefit more traditional retailers. Maybe it is time to champion how online retailers can benefit from stepping out of cyberspace?

Read here another view on the latest retail innovations.

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